AS THE BAND PLAYS ON…

Day 5: National Poetry Writing Month #NaPoWriMo

Amid the misty moods of jazz,
strings starring
the elegance of Ellington,
shadows caress
the couples kissing,
the barman swaying
and the affected
aficionados
converging
on the cello
player,
playing softly on seduction
sentimental moods

as the smell of him
sways still
over my skin
like fingers on the piano,
like the tune
he has played
on other bones,
(and softly sounds the sax)
on other bodies
(and the percussion pipes up)
while he moves
through the crowd;
my man of the moment,

oh my man,
I’ll miss him so…

mood moving from indigo
to let it go.

I watch him
slipping through
mouths sipping wine,
lips licking lyrics,
hands finding heat
below the table,
across the strings.

I’ve wandered down Bleaker
and tasted
the brown brick air,
I saw the sun
set down
high on the Hudson
and felt the wind
whisper the distant song
of solitude
that is never far
from my fold.

I’ve flown so far
to get here,
to this home,
his home,
amid the horns
and harmonies
(I’m already setting free)
it’s the strangest feeling
to know I am here
but will soon be gone,
for the A-train will be calling

as the band plays on…

Al Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly

Audio version available on SoundCloud:

 

PARISIAN PROTECTION

 

And there stands
reassurance
right on front of me
at the exits of metros
still moving behind me,
where men,
always black men,
always banlieue,
who I recognise
from the streets
yesterday begging for bread,
now search
for bombs in bags
so Parisians feel more protected.
Really Paris,
is this your position
or are you just trying
to reduce the homeless
by placing then closer
to possible blasts
and kill two birds
with the one bomb?
Unarmed, untrained
and unexplained
boys looking for
booby traps
that would only
make them collapse
if they found one.
These gullible gangstas
are no MacGyvers.
Appearances, it seems,
in Paris are still everything
while the streets
stink with rubbish
hiding the homeless
from the tourists,
the jobless, non-nationals,
uninsurable non-entities,
at least the ones
you haven’t yet picked
to reassure commuters
that dangers are being derailed
before style trends board trains.

 

All Words and Photographs by Damien B. Donnelly