Sunday, 8 November 2009


(For Gary)

There’s a man in Paxton
who is researching stars
and that musical telescope of his
stares out of the village window
to pierce a broader darkness.

There is a universal symphony in his breath,
picked up from the folk whistling
in the rain-kissed street.
There’s a child singing across the borders
and the sky is a chorus
of screaming clouds.

Our man of music in Paxton
scratches notes as he opens his mind.
He calls out
under the leaping rainbow
for a song to enter 
his soul.

He wants to name a star after his wife.
He wants to write Jane a song.
There is nothing more beautiful than the sight of Space:
‘Nothing more terrible than the beauty of music’, he says.

And, while his songs are soaring to the stars,
in the name of his radiant life,
he knows his Dad’s bones are cracking with age
and he knows there are days
when his guitar will sob
in the village darkness.

But, tonight, he has named a star ‘Jane’
and, while life is forever such struggle,
he has written a lovely song in Paxton
and taught his son Archie to dance in the sky.

Keith Armstrong