Just been to help farewell Graham Brazier; appropriately on a day when the sky is crying and, for a man of music & poetry, buried today with both . . .
from L'Albatros (The Albatross)
by Charles Baudelaire
“The Poet is a kinsman in the clouds
Who scoffs at archers, loves a stormy day;
But on the ground, among the hooting crowds,
He cannot walk, his wings are in the way.”
I leave thy praises unexpressed,
by Alfred Lord Tennyson
I leave thy praises unexpressed
In verse that brings myself relief,
And by the measure of my grief
I leave thy greatness to be guessed;
What practice howsoe'er expert
In fitting aptest words to things,
Or voice the richest-toned that sings,
Hath power to give thee as thou wert?
I care not in these fading days
To raise a cry that lasts not long,
And round thee with the breeze of song
To stir a little dust of praise.
Thy leaf has perished in the green,
And, while we breathe beneath the sun,
The world which credits what is done
Is cold to all that might have been.
So here shall silence guard thy fame;
But somewhere, out of human view,
Whate'er thy hands are set to do
Is wrought with tumult of acclaim.
By Bob Orr
Dedicated to Graham Brazier
You are a sailor of a different kind-
Not for you the red and white lighthouse
That conspires with me to mark the blue sea a darker blue.
Mermaids promise milk and honey.
For you not to believe them would be death of poetry.
There used to be a cutting edge around this place
Even if it was only a broken glass in your face.
More than once outside Three Lamps
The gutters ran deeper red than neon
Francois Villon would have felt at home.
Tonight I hear your bitch at midnight howl the blues
Beneath a Surrey Crescent moon... she and you both know
That in such gardens of danger wild creatures still roam.
Sometimes I hear Gods pounding up the pavement
Angels with broken wings cursing into rubbish bins.
When will the post office clock
Tell me what is written on the back of its hands.
Here only pigeons know if buses leave on time.
Not far away a certain chimney pot.
Reminds me of the tombstone of a poet or a prince long centuries gone.
Graham Brazier at the beginning of his twenty first century
Let me raise my glass
To salute your Bronze Age heart.
In the neck of this bottle a great fleet has just weighed anchor.
Let’s drink to all those sea sick sailors
Waking up in love lost cities.
Let’s drink to the days when we danced
With a Blue Lady.
[Pic by Russell Brown. Poetic tributes posted delivered respectively by Karyn Hay, Les Mills, the Order of Service, and Rob Tuwhare]