Sign up for our weekly newsletter
TRCH - Caitlin Moran

Xylophone Man Poem

1 January 01 words: Rosie Garner

Rosie Garner has written a poem to celebrate Nottingham's beloved busker...

 

The day I heard he'd died,
I wanted to break into the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
and swap all their instruments for cheap toy xylophones.
I wanted to hear nothing all day but
ding ding ding brring!
with a flourish at the end of it
and a shy open smile
because you never heard one
without seeing the other.

I wanted everyone to play xylophones
and nobody to have a tune.
Even the squirrels on the Emmet Clock
with their petals unbending
and their enormous sense of civic pride
I wanted them tapping away on tinny keys,
ting ting ting trring!

And now, at the very least,
I want a tram to be named after him,
and a statue in Lister Gate,
a memorial march once a year,
twice round the Council House
and off to Broad Marsh,
everyone dressed in comfortable
woollen jackets, whatever the weather
and slightly shiny trousers.
A parade of xylophones,
everyone smiling
everyone shaking out their arms
on the final ding.

And I want everyone to know
how that man used to make me smile,
how he can still make me smile,
how I can conjure him up
whenever I need to
and how I wish I'd thanked him
when I still had time. 
 
Rosie Garner 2004

We have a favour to ask…

LeftLion is Nottingham’s meeting point for information about what’s going on in our city, from the established organisations to the grassroots. We want to keep what we do free to all to access, but increasingly we are relying on revenue from our readers to continue. Can you spare a few quid each month to support us?

Support LeftLion now