Monday, 13 February 2012

Poem: WHEN I HEARD THE MAN (for Gil Scott Heron & Martin Luther King)





When I Heard The Man
For Gil Scott Heron & Martin Luther King

When I heard the man

I fell into sky blue

of lyrics that were true

with courage and faith

and that wicked wolf

lit the pathway of doubt

the world went too fast

but one day won’t last

long enough to recall

its about how you get up

and not how you fall

its how we get up

and not how we fall.



When I heard the man

I fell into sky blue

too true, my mind wandered back

across fields of then-then

rivers of thereafter

now where do you go?

and what can you do?

believe in yourself, but

you sometimes forget

hold on, woah, its not your turn yet

and what made you so sure

you’d get a turn fair and square?

stick with the love

hates too great a burden to bear

stick with the love

hates too great, a burden to bear

know where are you going

stop standing there

your running and running

but you 'aint going nowhere

its like wetting the whistle

but making no tune

its Winter In America

and Whiteys On The Moon.



And I once met the man

and I shook Gil's hand

fell into sky blue

his smile was true

and that wicked wolf

knew the way through them woods

through the bracken and twists

the dark and The Bottle

Storm Music flowed from his wrists

whilst the wind blew the hands

of the clocks round too fast

a whole day won’t last

so don’t cling onto your beer

we have nothing to fear

but a fear of the fear

nothing to fear

but fear itself, dear



When I heard the man

I fell into a truth

a lie cannot live

not a lie in a word

a riot is the language

of the unheard

a riot 

is the language 

of the unheard

stealing Nike trainers

and more angers stirred

faith is taking the first step

when you don’t see the whole staircase

got some justice for Lawrence

and next Smileys case?



I heard Pieces Of A Man

I fell into the blue

and that wicked wolf

left the door ajar

moonlight seeped through

onto a world spinning too fast

but a whole day don’t last

long enough to pick up old taxes

big trees and small axes

the forest washes bright

fall into the blue

and we fall into the light.



In the end we remember

not the words of our enemies

but the silence of friends

occupy your space

do your being, be your action

live love. love life. alive to the end.

Lady Day And John Coltrane

bloody London pours with bloody London rain

'aint nothing but a B Movie and the weathers awry

I’m gonna take me a piece of sunshine and paint it all over my sky.




© Salena Godden. 2012

Written and performed for Book Slam, The Clapham Grand, January 19th 2012


DJ Gilles Peterson

Kate Tempest

Clapham Grand

Salena Godden

Ray Shell

Amnesia Express: Lisa Lore, Kate Tempest, Salena Godden
Round of Applause! Group shot & line-up including poets Ben Mellor, Kate Tempest, Greg B, DJ Gilles Peterson, publisher Jamie Byng, Salena Godden, Gil Scott Heron Bandmates: Kim Jordan, Shebka, Harrmonika & friends  

Round of Applause! Group shot & line-up including poets Ben Mellor, Kate Tempest, Greg B, DJ Gilles Peterson, publisher Jamie Byng, Salena Godden, Gil Scott Heron Bandmates: Kim Jordan, Shebka, Harrmonika & friends   






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