On the death of Heathcote Williams by Saira Viola


Drawing by Elena Caldera

Poem for Heathcote

When your magic sun comets the earth
The flame of rebellion burns
You are the song that rattles the soul
Pompadour haired poet prophet-punk preaching
to the world
You are the final word
Red snapper rebelista!
Lyrical Spartacus – in a maze of
The sharpened needle of truth
behind the hiss of Judas
flicker kicking with whales
Confabbing with elephants
Mischief making Puck –
inking walls and Buckingham Palace with protest-punch graffiti
Friend to the lost the dispossessed the hungry
Bob Marley tootin’ Emperor of Frestonia
Aristo’ don of Anarchy
Peanut brittle choco chomping British dandy!

Now that you’ve rocketed onto another plane
cherub-smiling dolphins
and tear cupped – daffodils
will sink in slumber
Bonobos and orang-utans will salute your cosmic laughter
Hot-lick word wit playa
Verses clap clap like purple thunder
slapping ignorance –
with spanky pants intelligence
– candy pale eyes
see the air is free
You are the whispered echo of conscience
on a Dizzy Gillespie breeze
Lexical spinning rock god
Skin thumping the drum – spreading your
wizardry on street corners and market stalls
You are that flowering amber butterfly
back flip jibing on talking leaves
The storied power of hope on
a bike of honey bees
The blood dust of a silver-petalled star
Bless up ! Prince Fiah !
A melody of tears may twist the lips of dawn
But your electric harpsichord of love plays on.

Saira Viola, 5 July 2017


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