When one of the great voices fades
The world no longer knows how to listen;
Pictures are splintered and what was clear
In a cloud is wrenched loose.
Shining through it all is the light
That was initially formed to dare darkness;
Prising it open, like malnourished hands
On sweet fruit.
A special man has just died who I saw
Fashion light from his laughter;
A small electric bulb conjured
By the dexterous hands that wrote spells;
Dense invocations of words
And comprehensive poetics,
Erudite interrogations of the systems
And codes the failed sell.
And yet his was always success,
From early days, each endeavour;
Word photographs of the speakers
Or the stigmatics rage below stairs,
Then the spraying of truth
Across Ladbroke Grove, stars and places,
The saviour grace for the homeless
Whose continued torrent of language
Drowned out defeat and changed air.
The genius in the room with his
Fountain pen and mind water; the source
Of all rivers for those that he befriended
And loved. A man whose clear life
Captured the fog found in others,
Crystallising intention before posting to hell,
Or above. The journalist of the heart,
And Poet of the eye, whose voice music
Fused word and meaning and turned
Disasters birds into doves.
From ravens to stars he flew with all
Through his writing; Now that a new
Migration has started and we will be
Watching the sky that’s now his.
We will see the perfect calligraphy
Of his lines in those streaks of dawn
And torn sunsets. Let each new thought
Now be his thought and our time with him
This life’s gift.