Wednesday, 15 July 2015

L-I-F-E, and all that Jazz...

Once, years ago, when feeling low, I overheard a conversation in a bar:

MAN (despairingly and a little drunk) I don’t know where I’m going any more or who the hell I am even…

WOMAN (wearily) Oh, sure, and all that jazz…

MAN: Huh, I don’t even like jazz…

WOMAN: You don’t like jazz? Then you don’t have much of a liking for life, man, and it sure as hell won’t take much of a liking to you either….

After a sober pause, both burst out laughing and joined several other couples swinging to a lively number on the dance floor like saplings in a summer breeze. I went home feeling more upbeat than I had in ages although not sure why…and that feeling has lasted - through thick and thin - ever since. Maybe it has something to do with especially enjoying jazz among all kinds of music (and vocal) that do their genre justice.... 


Looking back
at angry shadows waving 
madly at me,
but not in a friendly fashion,
clearly blaming me
for doing what I should not
have done,
being where I should not
have been,
saying what I should never
have said

Looking ahead
at more shadows waving
madly at me,
and can’t even tell if friends
or enemies
urging I do what I want
to do,
be where I feel meant
to be,
say what (too long) needs
to be said

Swinging round
like a scarecrow in the wind
at what’s behind
making my heart skip beats
out of fear
for all the mistakes I’ve made
and half made,
put right and half put right,
left uncertain,
no idea which way
to turn

Standing quite still,
listening out for something
(or Someone?)
to point me in the direction
I need to go;
right fork, left, fork, or give up
and turn back…
till sounds of bright music
pointing me at trees
making the kind of mad  jazz
that’s a life force 

Turning my back 
on fear, galvanised by nature
to chase after life
as a child might a butterfly
if only because
it, oh, so beats doing nothing,
going nowhere,
being no one, feeling sorry
for the child self
that never caught a butterfly
or listened to jazz

Copyright R. N. Taber 2015

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