STAR POems: We Gathered

We gathered on the Common

were searched at the gate

for illicit chairs –

no dispensation for me.

We watched the ukulele rap duo

and waited for the voices

our bums on beanbags

on rainbow pallets

sun on my back.

A reverie t-shirt blurs into view

and the world music beats in my head.


Man in a wig, humouring me:

Remember the 60s?

I do, I say.

I remember lying under plastic sheeting

in the drizzle

on the Isle of Wight –

waiting for a disappointing Dylan

my musical poetic hero

gone in a brief hour

before the long night of sitting on the pier

watching the boats fill with hippies

not in wigs

but wet and bedraggled.


But gathering here

walking pet balloons

drumming lids for kids

Roy Hanney weaving his sound magic

I sit in the shade on the grass

and wonder if I’ll ever get up again

thanking heaven for strong-armed strangers.


Arms around the Child

seagulls rising

dancing in the skies

to Los Hombres Paul

and the tenor sax call

watching lampshade hat kid dancing

fat belly, not Melly

ska dogs saxophones

twisted tearooms run out of spoons

stir your tea with a wooden fork

and watch two men embrace

on a wind-filled lime green sofa.


Sea-side postcard family

lounge on the bank

bellies wobble in time to the music

as they swig from lager cans.


Fulsom Prison Blues to sing along

and watch the swing dancers swing

move on to seek out

the yellow submarine,

finding James relaxing in the early evening sun

and Chris Mackenzie

a nice surprise

blessing the rains in Africa.


Wouldn’t it be nice, says Brian,

to do this all again,

to gather here next year

but I was taken back again to the sixties

and realised that maybe


festivals have to be a thing of the past for me

we’ll see.


Christine Lawrence