Friday, November 09, 2018

As God Sings the Blues . . .

—Anonymous Photos of November in the UK
—Poems by Ian Copestick, Stoke on Trent, England

—Ian Copestick, Stoke on Trent, England

It's six p.m. on a Saturday
And as I walk past,
There is an ambulance
On the corner,
All of its lights
Flashing. I figure
That there must be
Someone inside. As I
Passed I heard strange
Humming noises
Coming from inside,
Perhaps they've got
Some machine in
There working,
A defibrillator or
Something of the
Suddenly I feel bad,
Like a peeping Tom
Or something. I know
What it is like
To be in the back
Of an ambulance
And I know that I
Wouldn't have wanted
Anyone listening
Outside. Feeling suitably
Guilty I carry on with
My walk. As I go to
The shop for a beer
And others get ready
For a night on
The town, Some
Poor bastard's stuck in
The back of that
What can you do
Really, but thank
God it's not you


Surely the saddest thing in life must be
To see someone you once knew intimately
And they look straight through you with unknowing eyes
That slowly dilate in surprise

Awkwardly you start to speak
As you gaze upon that face, that cheek
That you once rained kisses upon
Now, it's not yours, those days are gone

And you realise what once was 'we'
Is now only 'you' and 'me'
Two people who are now world's apart
And once again you've broken my heart


I have started to wake in the middle of the night
Not knowing the time, in the dark I can't see
I lay there in the gathering half-light
Reviewing my life and its inadequacies

Torturing myself, tying my mind up in knots
Thinking of the problems I've caused for myself
Agonising over each, and there have been lots
Exercising my poor mental health

As the light grows at the edge of the curtains
And outside in the real world, the day it starts
I finish my self-examinations and I am certain
That in every failure, I've played the main part

As I hear the neighbours’ cars take them away
To work. My mind, with nothing learned
Forgets it all for the rest of the day
And then my tiredness suddenly returns

As the day it passes,  my mind is O.K.
No problems at all, everything is alright
I get ready for bed at the end of the day
Then I wake again in the dead of the night

—Ian Copestick

Life comes and goes
Nothing stops the flow
To the sound of a beat-up guitar
Some believe back to the creator
We all must go
To stop the panic in their hearts

I just believe in that old guitar
And the melody it sadly plays
We dance to its rhythm
Which is all we can do
Until our dying day

Some ancient but ageless, grizzled bluesman
Blasting away in the key of E
He hammers-on, bends strings
And twists the tune
That's life to you and me

He lifts the bottle to his big, black lips
And starts to jam on “Dust My Broom”
Our lives are just swirls in the dust
Of his beat-up, broke-down room

He knows the Crossroads, the Hell-hound too
Many times he's ridden the blinds*
He's walked down all those dusty roads
He knows his first and second minds*

He had a backing band many years ago
One by one they let him down
Since then his destiny has been
To ramble from town to town

He opens his mouth to sing, out comes a moan
Darker than a moonless night
Deeper than the depth of all seven seas
The bluesman sings of wrong and right

Of salvation, sin and all between
He weaves his words of woe
To the unearthly clang of his guitar
On and on the world must go

So pray he never runs out of songs
And there's always another to choose
For there drinking whiskey in his old railroad shack
Sits God singing the blues

*Ride the blinds: this means riding in a boxcar on a freight train
*Second mind: A term used in some very old blues; I’m not 100% sure, but it seems to mean the unconscious mind


Today’s LittleNip:

—Ian Copestick
Don't do it for the acclaim
Don't do it for the cheers
Just do it to try to stop
The ringing in your ears

Don't anticipate awards
Or search for some big prize
Just try to make the world make
A bit more sense before your eyes

You won't get the fortune
You'll never find the fame
The most that you can hope for
Is to feel a bit more sane

You can use a laptop
Or grab a pen and pad
When the last line's been laid out
The world won't seem so bad


—Medusa, with thanks-across-the-sea to Ian Copestick for his fine poems today, as November hurries past, both in his country and in ours. 

 Celebrate poetry!
To find out if there was indeed a ufo invasion 
of Ian’s hometown, Stoke on Trent, 50 years ago, see

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.