A New Testament, or The Sacred Six


On Genesis

Poems by David Erdos




THE OBVIOUS ANGEL (For Peter Gabriel)


It was the voice that stunned first,

Even before the young man’s theatrics;

Before the sharp appeal and invention,

The lyrical flush, the songs joined.


Then the small majesty of his name,

As if properly graced by the Angels;

Someone otherworldly who was still

Hustling gigs with old coins.


Then the advance, with the pilgrim’s

Descent beneath Broadway,

The examination imagined across

An existential underworld,


Only to emerge in new light, a Rael to the real,

No longer a moribund Burgermeister

With the waters of Bath there to ease him

And a flag like song soon unfurled.


Solsbury Hill fills all hearts, as it must have his

In the writing, setting out those first journeys

Across the possible worlds art provides.

Gabriel is an ambassador for the soul


Through the music he makes and his singing,

Through his humanitarian efforts and his advances

In terms of the mind and machine. This son of an inventor

Inspects the tenuous world we’ve created


In order to find adaptations of man’s fragile

Hold on the dream. We call for new music,

More wings but the soaring truth quickly settles:

He is the music. As with each new thought



Peter sings.



PHILLING IN (Phil Collins at Hyde Park, 2017)


Now sat, sans drums, Collins’ look appeared ghostly,

As his voice scaled old glories, his former rhythmic drive

Remained parked. There was some small tragedy here

Along with the warmth of return for those people

Who once prized a musician whose versatile reach

Scorched all charts. There was a sense of dignity too

In the exile he’d adopted; clearing the field

He’d grassed over in the biblical day and solo.

As he and others move on into age in which

Rock music has set its own standard, the slow shade

And pale shimmer abbreviates a halo.

But Not dead yet, as he writes. And so, further life

Is wished to him; framed by the hope of new strikes

To be fashioned by the still spectacular cries of the heart.


THE NEW RIVER (For Tony Banks)


After defining the God granted sound,

Man’s compromise seemed to shun him.

This in itself proved a lesson that no set education

Can teach; dilute the river somehow

And the surrounding banks will grow weathered,

Until urgent new waters rearrange themselves

Into sea.


The classically themed lyrics he wrote

Have now fused with his music, and the expanse

Of his talent sets landscape, drawing the cloud

Through the chord into view.


The countdown has begun;

From Seven to Five, to one movement,

Which possibly marks a concerto that will surely

Rhapsodise earthbound tune.


Through Salmacis,

To Six, from Mad Man Moon cloaked by Redwing,

Tony Banks is now granting the music’s surround

A new truth. The expert playing of hands

Brings the heart into focus,

As what was song turns symphonic

And the standards of old become new.


AT THE HEART OF IT (For Mike Rutherford)


Responsible at the start for the emergent riffs many treasured,

From Mama’s offbeat drum box to Follow You Follow me’s pulse

And words, Rutherford’s special way is to humanise others’ magic,

Bass notes affirming the sources of song most prefer.


Singing through surrogates he peoples each album,

The craftsman ever present but never with a slick

Show of hands. Instead is the ease with which to convey

Sweet intention. In what he plays nothing’s sour,


With each sensation and taste calmly planned.

As Collins lead from the back so Rutherford graced

The scant shadow to realign Hackett’s beauty

In a thoroughly popular light.  That’s all one can do


As the popular song scales new platforms

And a group braced by friendship is carefully freed


By time’s flight.


THE LONG ECHO (For Anthony Phillips)


Never forgotten or lost the sound world serves a fresh purpose;

To restore and remind us that a musician’s skill is sublime.

Drawing libraries made of song Anthony Phillips’ collections

Are worlds we encounter through the abeyance of hearts and closed eyes.


Strangely surreal English gardens undulate, graced by a ghost in the sunlight;

Disturbances and distortions are instantly eased by soft stars.

It is only in the string’s resonance and the struck key’s long echo

That a new music happens and his calls to the muse becomes ours.


And yet his atmosphere is his own. Unique, it feels classic,

As the voice in his playing recolours the expectant path

Others tread. Whether on guitar or synth, twelve string or piano

His view from the outside is to reorder rock’s blues to rose red.


Phillips’ music enchants. His spells and evocations are legion.

In the summered glaze his light dazzles


Before it disappears in dream haze.




On a parallel path with Fripp, there is nothing flip

To Steve Hackett; his take on the progressions in music

Stems from a joining of all boundaries. As Crimson

Thrakked hard, Steve’s colours softened, forming a pool

Of new mirrors, reflecting each new style adopted

Through the sound gifts of love in each song.


This has come anew to him from Jo, his wife

And life partner, her words broadened Hackett

Whose reach was of course wide before.

The exotic sound in his style has infiltrated each genre,

Conquering borders and time signing futures

To send each song skyward, freed from Rock’s


Steady four to the floor. Recently each new work

Has honoured his founding source for expansion;

Those tales torn from new fires that ignited the form

And the stage. He has been counting out time

With an entirely new set of numbers, mixing the tongues

With song kisses that in being bestowed grace each age.


With each new effort he bows to those former standards

That brought his work into being and in standing proud

He restores the sophistications of old, replaying the songs

Long untested; an act of curation in which the museum

Re-opens showcasing so many portals

Beyond those wonderous thirty two chamber doors.


Hackett stands at the gates. There is paradise in his playing.

His skills and commitment still shining,

As the love formed by hands soon implores.





David Erdos   23rd March 2018
Illustration Nick Victor

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