Final Movement

Bursting with anarchy in a rule bound school
our voices already broken under an avalanche
of hormones, we were no use to our music master
and his other passion - the Boys’ High Choir.

A sanguine penguin man whom we held hostage
in his own music room, tying him to a chair
as we played rock and roll on his new stereo
violating those then novel twin speakers
with latest raunchy sounds from America.

No Bach Goes to Town, just bouncing Bill Hayley
ripping up Fifties foxtrots with rim shots
and wicked guitars that had poor penguin
stamping his feet in out-of-time anger
to his anti-Christ, nemesis in black vinyl.

He tried to touch our souls with symphonies
but could not compete. A forty-five revolution
had arrived. He hung in for decades. With others
made some records, took his choir world-touring
to achieve some fame for his first love.

Now my sister writes he has Alzheimer’s disease.
In a rest home sits all day in front of a piano
crying over the keys, black and white a memory
blur. Too late now, I know, but sorry Sir.

Barry Southam

"Footprints on a Gravel Road"  by Barry Southam, published by Four Square Press  Dunedin , New Zealand.   Price $20.00   Publishers website