The Singers Tale- Round Midnight. Writing. ©

+ A track. Photo above Kasia Rose Hrybowicz

London Tales: Round Midnight. A poem.

In the picture above a painting and a photo of Monk’s hands playing the piano taken by My friend, John Hoppy Hopkins 

Round midnight. 

Music Thelonious Monk – Lyrics and Poem on recording, Oscar Brown Jr – written in the year of my birth. 1944 My Poem here.

Thelonious Monk Written following a night sleeping in a Devonshire Hollow 2006 ©

‘Round Midnight   

Dear Monk,

if I was not in bed, attempting sleep, I would take off my Pork Pie hat, doff my cap to you; bow my head.

Sir, you were a magical Man, each dancing of your fingers on ivory keys, a pianism of lament, pride, courage intent, leaving me breathless.

One night in rural Devonshire, it began to tell round midnight round midnight….   

I climbed the narrow stairs of slate and behind a curtain…a Monk’s room.

I am awake in a narrow bed that is unfamiliar to me

Around Midnight

Above my head an ancient roof of beam and thatch

I lie, trying to catch elusive sleep.

An Owl, or did I imagine it? Too-wit too woo? Too you?

A call in the woods below  A bark? A fox?

Who walks above my head? Soft creak of footsteps on old wood.

Who goes there?

My mind is simmering, brimful, my thoughts tumbling in free fall.

The sounds in the darkness are extraordinary…

It is not silent here.

The night air is sweet and cool on my face, 

The ghost of Thelonious Monk visits me in my Monk’s room. 

I hear the piano, the notes tumbling, like my thoughts….Ruby my dear, Blue Monk Round Midnight?  Am I in Monk’s Dream? Well, you needn’t.

Then it was gone, notes faded away.

I listen to the cacophony that is both inside and outside my head.

It is not silent there.

There is no orange urban light imposing its day glow glare upon this Devonshire hollow in the midnight of its star full ink darkness.

In Deptford, down by the River Thames, the night hum and throb of a  City, sirens howl, a lonely prowler on the empty street below my window as sleepless, my feet chilled

I look out through glass and night will pass as I wait for a red dawn to rise behind the Observatory on a hill in Greenwich, where time was organised.

Another night with News and ‘Sailing By’  in order to still my own thoughts. Render them secondary.

I do not want them at this moment    

I do very well ‘till after sundown

suppertime I’m feeling sad …

but it really gets bad ‘round midnight’ 

Monk knew all about midnight  … and he made the notes sing the song.  


Other musical Heros all around my home…below Mingus and Ray Charles in my shed window xx


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