John Martyn

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i.m. 1948-2009


In the picture-perfect scenery of Challes-les-Eaux

in seventy-five, locked in private darkness,

I played your lost indefinable music

on a tired loop of tape: Solid Air –

its title track an elegy for a friend you couldn’t save,

while you were destined to survive.

With a brawler’s zest for living,

you absorbed the booze and heartbreak.


When I heard you had died I found you

in the afterlife of YouTube, restraining tears

for grief you’d caused,

knowing your muse, Serendipity,

had always been a harsh one, that even now

there could have been no easier way.


◄ For Robert Johnson

When Smokey Sings ►


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Tue 19th May 2020 20:12

Such a great tribute David, and I naturally listened to Solid Air, and picked up a flavour of that ethereal style ; but with me knowing so little about the man your poem comes on wings for me. So plaintive a song.


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