Of all the things, Clive James
(a love song)
Of all the things I meant to do while I am still alive
At ninety-one, I meant to write to you to tell you
How much your words have moved my mind, Clive.
I read your first book about your go cart ruining
The gardens of your neighbours echoing my brother
Jimmy’s adventures in Carnegie, Melbourne coupling
His pedal car onto the back of trams and swinging fast
Around bends wildly on a thin taut rope. My mother
Was not amused. Your song writing and singing past
Is a background that you rarely mentioned then.
I sang the same song “You Go to My Head”, with effect,
As you did, with glasses of champagne. And again!
I had great voice in those days. I had dead ringers
For Audrey Hepburn’s eyes. Young, almost perfect
Shapely legs, hips and so on, my lips hum-dingers.
Many friends found other attributes of mine to admire.
I’ve loved your turns of phrase and the timbre of your
Voice. If we’d met, I know you would have lit my fire.
And October 2019 when you’d reached four score years
I should have said you’ve given me no choice but to adore
You and your whimsicality. You’d reduced me to tears.
With My Gramophone
A clock has a measure of time.
It may not be my measure,
But, there are pauses to contemplate
In grief, wonderment, delight and
Treasured memories that are
Unforgettable. That’s what you are.
I sang that in duet with Nat King Cole
in my youth. Privately, at home.
Just me alone. With my gramophone.