Poem 131 – Soul Music

The needle drops, its solid clunk,
Precipitates familiar crackles,
Vinyl’s weakness? Perhaps, or character,
But compensating with more soul.
The sax begins, transporting us,
To smokey bars where bourbon’s poured,
In black and white, and couples sway,
And nodding men are lost in jazz.
The snare’s shuffle entrances as,
Crisp cymbal strikes entice and take,
Our arms to stroll with walking bass,
And trumpets dance their singing scales.
Too soon the groove reaches its climax,
The side completed but not ended,
Repeated coda, beating on,
Until the arm is lifted home.

A discussion on Twitter about jazz recommendations led to acquiring some new records, and in turn to this verse.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 68 – The Classroom Drummer

Remember the noise the ruler made when
You thrummed it on the side of the desk?
That drumming sound that slid upwards as you
Drew the springboard inwards crescendoing?
I swear I heard that as I walked amongst the trees.
I looked around but there was no classroom
Comedian, no scruffy school boy here.
Confused I turned again with searching eyes
But still no culprit was disclosed until
Skyward I lifted my attention, where
A flash of red revealed the avian punk
Headbanging yobbish rhythms on the branch.

Today, my afternoon walk was accompanied by the sound of drumming amongst the trees. I didn’t actually spot the culprit, but I knew who it was.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 15 – First Post-Lockdown Gig (Reprised)

Waves of nostalgia crash
Upon that human sea
Gathered in one place to sing
Beating in unity
Arms outstretched as one reach out
Rock and roll god on view
‘Radio’, our one last cry,
‘Someone still loves you’

The final song of Roger Taylor’s set from yesterday’s gig was Radio Gaga, which he wrote. To stand in the crowd clapping the signature clap is an awesome thing, looking around seeing a see of people clapping as one. I can’t imagine what it must have been like to do this as part of the crowd at Wembley. As I did so, I found myself wondering if this will be the last time I do so with a member of the original band playing in front of me.


© Ben Quant 2021

Poem 10 – Take Five

As Dave’s Quartet begin to play Paul Desmond’s piece
I find myself asking what can be achieved
In this most frustrating length of time
Not sufficient to take on a major task
Like cooking a meal, taking the kids to school
Or saving the planet
But not too small to ignore
Long enough to play a tune, perhaps
Boil a kettle, read a letter
But only if you’re ready when the time begins
No room to get prepared within its span
‘Cause when the countdown counts the pressure’s on
Is five minutes long enough to compose a song,
Tidy a room, polish my shoes or pen this poem?
Turn back the clock!
Take five?
Five is not long enou….

The first thing in my diary this morning was taking a school assembly on Jonah, which was a delight, doing it as an embarrassing Dad rap with audience participation and beats. But all set and ready to go I found myself with five minutes to spare and wondering what could fill that time…

Dave’s Quartet refers to the famous jazz outfit, the Dave Brubeck Quartet, famous for their hit Take Five, penned by their saxophonist, Paul Desmond.


© Ben Quant 2021