Carol’s Songs

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-

in 

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. 

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