Happy birthday, Bob Dylan
The only time I saw you; distant
view on a home counties airfield,
singing I Want You as a slow ballad.
My dear friend Dave, whose best of hearts
still let him down, introduced you
to me, lent me LPs. My faith
wavered when you found religion.
Caught up with your later albums
eventually, but that old hobo voice –
the same voice mocked by others
from the very beginning –
was hard on the ear. Your words
won the Nobel prize, attracting
more praise and mockery. I often
prefer others’ versions of your songs.
But happy birthday, Bob Dylan,
at 80, survivor, troubadour and poet.
Admiration and allegiance minus zero.