English poetry

Poems in English

The Tenor Man

The Tenor Man

Pottering around the stage,
A hyperactive ancient in his own backyard –
Independent of the band it seems.

Disrhythmic shuffling of ashtray,
Beer, a pack of cigarettes,
Adjusting microphones,

Then in the middle eight
He draws, exhales, and catches breath,
Stoops forward to the mouthpiece

And blows,
a tumbling counterpoint,
Scales soaring from his horn.

The melody flows

Until the break,
And then he shoulders arms,
A truce between the music and his ailing lungs.

Between choruses he sits apart
To light another cigarette,
A sideman counting out the bars
Until he rises for the coda –
This Lazarus of swing.



Poem The Tenor Man - Adrian Green