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Graham Pawley's 'Born to Busk'

Longer PoemsPosted by John Vanek Fri, February 20, 2009 10:47:19

A rhyme: Born To Busk

By Graham Pawley

Amid shrieks of pain sweat fear and joy,

A child is born the midwife shouts boy!

His cord was cut the issue sutured,

Wrapped in clean linen his flesh cleaned and nurtured,

His father looks on tears pour from his eyes,

It's a priceless moment in all fathers lives,

From cradle to crawling from crawling to walking,

It wasn't that long from babble to talking,

First day at nursery … well … make a note that he cried,

Ah! That was the first time he left his mum's side,

School was next … grey shorts a blue sweater,

When all things considered …

What could be better?

A smart blue blazer a badge to show off,

This little gent could have passed as a toff,

Brown leather satchel and shiny brass buckle,

Below his peaked-cap … I laugh …

His face was a chuckle!

A guitar came at Christmas … During secondary school,

No time for studies … Some said … `O what a fool!',

Maths and English Science and More!

All these … Oh dear … He found such a Bore,

Music came natural without fuss or frustration,

He could play to all without hesitation,

Exams came and went no need for revision,

For song and lyric held sway without one indecision,

A girlfriend … a kiss!

A love to not miss,

Another … her brother! Well … such was his way,

He was never certain … if night wasn't day,

A gifted guitarist yet no place to go,

A career in commerce! I should coco,

Industry beckoned … A skilled engineer,

He shouted out loud … `I don't want one day to feel like one YEAR',

Down … Down … Down … He spiralled,

Into a labyrinth he descended and marvelled,


The floors walls and ceilings …

Were all made from either ceramic or marble,

A stage to play and a place to perform,

Nothing to worry him as he was on form,

He dropped his guitar case … it fell to the floor,

It all felt so right it would all lead on to more,

He began to play a song he had written,

Strangers … Their hurry … forgot they to listen,

The music and lyrics soaked up the air,

With all his heart he lay his soul bare,

Guitar and vocal with perfect accord,

Rang out through the tube with resounding applaud,

He then bowed his head with grace and aplomb,

It wouldn't be long he thought till Arena 02 and the Dome,

The coins came with smiles … a nod and a wave,

He'd done so well he'd some to spend even to save,

The days turned to weeks … a month … then a year,

Like the ebb and flow of the tide to and fro at a pier,

The years took their toll for they stole of his youth,

And sold all to his detriment which bore the wrinkles … the proof,

First mother … then father! Well … sadly they died,

He'd see them again one day yet here for now he'd sit play his songs and abide,

He rented a flat and lived as arranged,

For girlfriends and boyfriends he so easily changed,

For love's affections are sweet yet often turn sour,

For count how a wind-blown-seed will directions several take in one hour,

Remorse and regret … No! For his craft was in lyric and song,

For the former they bequeath - if you let … Each, such a terrible pong,

His hair turned grey and his beard grew long,

Yet his music was vibrant and went on and on,

Then one day while out busking a gent passed on by,

And offered him a recording contract … he advised … `Give it a try',

From studio to radio … from stage to a Stadium!

He sang all his songs even at the London Palladium,

The Queen and Prince Phillip … well, they were so very impressed,

Her Majesty's counsel was courteous … She knew he was blessed,

So when all's said and done here though the tube can be fun,

Inside every musician the heart hides a dream hard to be won,

So never forget when go out as you do,

A beautiful sound create … for this might one day be you,

He died one day aged one-hundred-and-three,

As the clock on the wall turned four-thirty-three,

No true friend to mourn him no lover to cry,

For everyone he truly loved had long since said their goodbye,

I'm told … his funeral apart from the Priest,

Was so very cold and lonely … to say the very least,

Some things are sad and none can alter,

Yet his coffin bore a beautiful guitar-shaped-wreathe in front of the altar,

His only guitar and his life long friend,

Was with him inside his coffin for it was their end,

His Service the priest finished … Then looked up to heaven,

When a ray of light shone from on high through a stained-glass window …

Timed at … Eleven -o- seven!

The ray and the angle aligned on the coffin,

The priest he almost choked, couldn't help himself, he hacking with coughing,

A silence followed … and filled up the whole church all around,

Then out of nowhere all of a sudden came this beautiful sound,

A guitar chord then another could be heard as he played,

The priest grabbed hold of his lectern felt so dizzy …

From side-to-side he swayed!

The music and melody Well … they filled up the CHURCH,

A vase of flowers hanging droopy … stood to attention!

With! An incredible LURCH!

It lasted but for a moment … until a cloud hid his ray,

Yet mark this much from that moment …

The priest still speaks of it even today,

So rest in your bed tonight and fear nothing so sad,

Of all things you are a musician …

Consider others …

And busking you'll agree isn't so bad,

His music still remains … and is played all the time,

For good music last forever it is something sublime,

A song or a limerick put together in time,

Complement when certain words, paired together, share a rhyme,

Like salt and pepper or bread and butter,

Happy sharing their lives together,

When rolling off the tongue just fine,

For poet or playwright or whatever your art,

A busker, on the underground, is just as smart,

No need for a fan base or even a club,

Find me sat sipping beer at the bar inside the closest pub,

Shout the barman for a bitter, a larger, or a short!

Quench your thirst, buy me one!

Now there's a good sport,

Stand there and tell me and spell me your craft,

Warm real ale from the keg,

Is better than cold bitter poured near a door and a draft,

I wished for a song yet this rhyme … Ah!

I have been given and now scribbled instead,

So before I close it, and tuck it up, and put her to bed,

I hope you had a chuckle,

Or least one little tiny smile,

For without such emotion,

The forward motion must have felt like a mile,

I play the harmonica and wear a trilby hat,

If you're out busking you will hear me,

Otherwise, you're as blind as a bat,

Now funny thing, but this rhyme,

I cannot now put it to bed!

Every line I try to finish,

I scratch a comma where I ought to have put a full stop,


Help me! I'm certain, I've gone quite mad!

Every time I write and turn a page,

I find another page,

In this very large writing pad,

Call for help, Dial 999 … please, if you WILL,

For writing this, without assist,

Is someone whose head is beginning to feel a little bit ill.


I'll be alright folks.

Just keep off the rhymes Graham, they're totally addictive.

And I say all this without ever being at all vindictive.