Blues for Louis. Carol Grimes. ©
Louis playing Congas and my son Sam on the drum kit in 1975 in The Tabernacle before it was refurbished – A Benefit for a playground in Powis Square London W2
Written in 1985 Recorded on The C.D. Mother in 2003
Blues for Louis ©
Inside my room, single bed, sink and gas ring
I listened to the blues, black vinyl warm spinning
my heart wanting the sound in my mouth.
Outside a window open in the summer heat –
the street the rowdy – dow of Earls Court Road
Saturday night down to Louis subterranean home-
made mystic with leaves, sticks-
stones, incense filling the air –
as he cooked fragrant food from Mauritius-
new tastes for my tongue,
his hands beating time on a drum–
singing the songs I never forgot.
Seeking bohemian magic in Soho where Jazz is,
late afternoon sun shooting lights and dusty smoke spirals-
setting fire to golden brandy in my glass.
Sitting small in beatnik black and blue velvet-
taking in mind seeds, drinking the juice of truth –
hanging on to the threads of dreams wanting love and more-
Bottling for Paris Nat in Piccadilly one spring his accordion-
squeezing out the songs of France and the war-
lost love and more.
Down to the big river.
A mournful London lullaby of tugboat and train-
the evening rain on my face.
I remained at the riverside, mesmerised by the water,
the tide and the flow of it, the comforting old of it.
A raucous chorus of seagulls-
winging in on the wind from the sea in the east-
hungry for the city’s feast.
Castles and elephants, bridges and spires, factories, domes-
a million red brick homes.
Back to my home in The All Saints Road-
The Grove, next door to The Mangrove.
Now, I am in a winter mean morning –
wind raw in Bethnal Green,
grey London streets bloodshot with buses.
A woman catches my eye.
I smile, she curses, her voice a sore sound in the air-
howl and scowl.
I knew her a long lifetime ago.
He droops over his big issues near asleep
underneath a stooped back,
heels clip clipping, cigarette tips glowing.
Underground sulphur smell, hot breath-
bodies close and souls apart, swaying in a metal tube.
Eyes avoiding eyes avoiding touch.
Mind the gap.
Behind newspapers roaring the words of war once more.
Which was where I came in. War 1944.
Glow burning sunset on top of a hill, purple night-
inching in from the west.
In the City below –
Sirens wail and headlights strobe flicker –
between the leaves on the trees; on the roadside, a dog laughs…
A man barks and the breeze lifts the hem of a skirt-
flowers low bow to the earth as
I look with older eyes through tears
and a once upon a time song.
I remember Louis and the drum and the song as
I sing my blues………….
Blues for Louis.