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My Nan sleeps with Brian Jones

‘Peace, peace! he is not dead, he doth not sleep
He hath awakened from the dream of life’

Jagger tugs weeds, rakes a bed
of graveyard shale,
drags a copper wire brush
through moss lumps
gathered by the guest book 
and its dew dribbled plastic bag -
there to keep the water out.
He pulls cart-wheeling cellophane
from his shin,
paints a black shadow across the ultimate stone,
cheats daylight from the name 
grooved in its face.

One step backward and a diagonal glance
towards my Nan,
her spring confetti
cherry tree
a stump since yesterday,
forty five exposed rings
of people powder,
trapped in a bark orbit -
breeze blown cinder,
scattered Grandad’s, Mum’s,
boys, babies,
cabbage whites.

Quote from: Adonaïs: An Elegy on the Death of John Keats- Percy Bysshe Shelley(1821)
As read by Mick Jagger – Hyde Park 1969.

CheltenhamRolling StonesMemory

◄ El Dorado

The wisdom to know indifference ►


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Michael Scott

Sat 2nd Oct 2010 21:50

Thanks Ray, you're right with strange, I've spent all my life visiting the cemetery in Cheltenham where Brian Jones of the Rolling Stones is buried round the corner from my Grandparents memorial tree. It's always windy there hence the cellophane flying about. I went there this spring and found that the tree had been chopped down and wondered whose ashes had been scattered each year and blown into the life of the bark. Strange poem for a strange thought!
Thanks for your comment about 'Birth of My Boy' which actually happened 6 years ago tomorrow.

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Ray Miller

Sat 2nd Oct 2010 21:36

What a strange poem! First 6 or 7 lines pull you in, but then "cart-wheeling cellophane" pulled from a shin. Then I struggle to connect the two verses. The 2nd is much more personal. The 45 rings represent years? trapped in a bark orbit is a nice touch.Very intriguing but maybe a little obscure for me.

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