A Divine act

Everybody knows it’s almost time

as sound men make their final checks

and wheel the baby grand 

sleek, black – poised

to centre stage, amid background bubbling

of expectant, festival-soaked chatter

flavoured with paint and crochet,

chips, cheap beer and marinated words

 

A hat and a pint

of Guinness and cheers as the stage

claims its prize – all eyes

trained on the waif-like, mesmerising figure

as memories float unseen but thought,

half-thought, a quarter…

whizzing like electrons as he twizzles the piano

stool and sits – fingers flexed

 

The crowd does not ignite

as the baby swallows sound,

keys dribbling notes

which fall short and trickle through conversation,

teasing – pleasing only when the riffs

of guitar restore the Stendhal syndrome

and sound reclaims the tent,

underfoot a percussion of plastic cups and mud and butts

 

‘One more tune, one more tune, one more tune’

they hook him back after the woodshed

national express – you know that ‘no’

means yes – berate the sound team

shout the words and clap the beats,

circumnavigate six-footers and snap

a pale portrait – eyes smudged pink underneath

appreciative, applauded,

appalled, a professional

a divine act.

 

(Just a little poetic memento from the Stendhal Festival which I thought I would share.)

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