South London

South London

Day 24 of 30 Days of Poetry

Florence + The Machine performing on stage at the O2 Arena, London
Florence + The Machine on stage at the O2 Arena, 22 Nov 2018
I sit on high,
People drift like snow
Against the stage,
Covering the silence
With the murmur
Of myriad voices.

Noise swells like the ocean,
Breaks. Exultation!
Cries like a million gulls
Greet the performers.

Excitement rises
Beneath our wings
And we soar!
High as hope, high on love.

I blink away the tears,
Pulled to my feet
By the lure of the music.
Spellbound I sway,
Thought replaced by feeling.

We hold hands, we embrace,
We share the love,
We share the hope.
The music plays us
And we are filled
By its beauty.
Getting In Tune

Getting In Tune

I was at a gig in the local pub on Saturday night; a local band called Fuzz Universe. I really enjoy live rock music – it seems to be an exception to my usual intolerance of loud noise and bright, flashing lights – and I had a very pleasurable time. I even enjoyed a brief chat to the lead guitarist afterwards: he’s one of only a few people to have recognized the subject of the painting on the back of my leather jacket as the character of Death from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld.

I had a brief moment of anxiety early in the night when the singer came round with the mike during Johnny B. Goode in search of some audience participation in the chorus. Unfortunately my nerves got the better of me and my mind went blank: I forgot the words! Both of them – “Go” and “Johnny”. Not singing was actually more embarrassing than if I had managed to do it. I got a chance at redemption a little later when he came round again during Kings of Leon’s Sex on Fire and this time made a decent stab at it. The thing is I often sing along to songs I know reasonably well, just not loud enough that people can generally hear me. (I do the same when I’m driving: sing along to whatever CD I’m playing.)

I didn’t quite realize how loud it was until the band finished playing and I had ringing in my ears and a slightly unpleasant damping of my aural acuity – my own fault for spending almost the entire night about six feet in front of one of the speaker stacks! Surprisingly there was only one moment when I overloaded and almost blacked out – a brief second or so when the input exceeded some internal threshold and I stopped hearing – causing me a moment of disorientation before recovering my faculties.

The band finished with Foo Fighters’ The Pretender as an encore and I’ve still got the tune going round and round in my head – it’s a good thing I like the song so much. I’ve caught myself humming and singing it in the shower (another favorite place for me to sing). Getting tunes stuck in my head is something that happens to me a lot – I just hope I don’t start singing or humming them out loud in public. I attract attention by talking to myself now and again; I don’t want to appear even more eccentric by singing as well. I’ve never managed to find a way to get such a song out of my head except by listening to something that I find even more catchy. Usually each will reside for a few days before the next one takes its place: I wonder what my next one will be.