VISIT TO THE AUDIOLOGY CLINIC, 1973
He said one day you will be totally deaf
and before I left said Thank you to the Doctor
even though his gift was a sentence
to be carried out at some unspecified date.
While I was able I had to go to Montreux
to hear at least Miles Davis, Gary Burton,
BB King, Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman,
Keith Jarrett, Sun Ra and Horace Silver.
And I had to hear everything in the world -
kids in the playground, raindrops tap-dancing
on a tin roof, the wind blowing through trees,
leaves as they hit the ground, a crackling fire,
waves crashing on a beach, buses changing
gear, poetry (but I didn't know it back then),
opening a can of soup, breath (mine especially),
kittens chattering, bursting bubble wrap, thunder,
Tony Blackburn on the radio (it's OK,
I'm kidding), the song of blackbirds, the song
that comes from my lips, conversation that soars,
climbs, dives, races and sometimes just hovers
and, lastly, those simple words “I love you”,
richer than an abacus, alphabets or angels.
I'll miss everything that's grown familiar
and be locked in a anechoic chamber
where no sounds can arrive or escape.