Absorb each note until your ears ring
stamp and roar and — alone, careless — sing
let the words loose into the full night
joyous, hoarse, deaf; this natural high
each lyric, each riff and beat
etched forever at the core of me
drumming up the sweet ache of home
sick for lost time more than for places I’ve known.
There’s my shadow from 20 years ago
she’s weaving through the crowd
and the band plays on and I know
it can never, no matter how loud,
drown out the memories of how
it smelled that night in Mount Pleasant cemetery in fall
and each night between then and now,
how much has changed and yet nothing has at all.
I just want this moment to last,
to suspend belief and hold us fast.
I wrote a while back about one of my two favourite all-time bands, the Lowest of the Low. They’re a Toronto band from my teens and university years and, having lived in Ireland and ultimately moved to Ottawa, I never dreamed I would get to see them again live. But as if by rock-miracle, they played here last night and I went to see them – alone. It was the best concert experience I’ve ever had.
I also realized for the first time just how much of an influence singer-writer Ron Hawkins had on my early attempts at writing – and the influence his lyrics still have on me today.