Photo from Grafton Tafe performance of Grafton Nimby Bridge song.
Finding the night life a bit limited after a few months of living in Alice Springs and teaching in a local school I decided to sing at the two most popular open mic venues namely Epilogue and Dirty Word.
I have always had a side of me that will decide to create my own entertainment when it is lacking around me
After a few “practices” in front of live audiences I had a bit of a repertoire of my favourite lyrical poet musicians to draw on for the next impromptu performance which open mic is sympathetic to.
Alice seems to gravitate towards grass roots activist artists indigenous and non-indigenous and people come to visit from all over the world .
I had no confidence to stand up and recite my original poetry at that time but I could sing covers..
I relied on the melodic old world style of folk singing and doing my few songs till I did them well.
One night tired of hearing all the other musicians get up and perform their original songs and knowing mine didn’t translate well with single guitar or ukulele accompaniment I decided to try something new.
I sand the classic “bird on a wire” by Leonard Cohen till I reached the second verse.
Then I put down my instrument ..knowing I had the audience attention and introduced the poem Vision of The Refugee Crisis.
I dedicated it to the then 650 million displaced people all over the world and proceeded to recite it from memory as poetry slam.
Then I went back into the last verse of the song ..bird on a wire and sat down.
Since then I have gained the courage to speak the poetry without the need to prop myself up with some other fabulous song writers lyrics and melodies.
I am learning to sing and play my poetry in a whole new way and it is an evolving process.
I knew how much poetry was a part of Leonard Cohen and part of his brilliance was his deep golden voice and own unique way to deliver his message.
I dedicate a page to honour him in my book as a poet singer and artist who transcended the boundaries of his era and the mediums that constrain us to a genre and a time as artists.