Image: © Eloïse Wenger
Author: Eloïse Wenger
It’s on the bench seat of a coach that I emerge
Panting and looking around a green and red train
When suddenly I hear the grim sound of a dirge.
I raise my eyes and meet the shape of Kurt Cobain
He turns his head and from my mouth escapes a scream
For a huge hole over his ear displays his brain.
Shocked, he stares at me with his eyes blue as a stream.
Then jokingly he shrugs saying: ʻCome as you are!ʼ
Horror! It can’t be true! It can’t be but a dream!
ʻWell look at you!ʼ He tells me, taking his guitar.
At this moment, I witness the blood on my chest,
That vanishes ‘til there remains only a scar.
At this sight I cannot help but to feel oppressed.
I try to ask my fellow what all this meant,
But he doesn’t answer, seemingly not impressed.
On this pause the train leaves and we start our descent.
It’s difficult to say how long we’ve been travelling.
The sky’s neither any colour nor truly dark
And he refuses to say where we are going.
But before losing any hope for a landmark,
The quiet wagon slows down and halts at a station
On a sign is written Crystal Palace Park.
Through my window I spot with mortification
On the platform half lying down on the cold ground
An old woman in a state of desperation.
She doesn’t move for it looks like her legs are bound
And as she keeps weeping like a beast you slaughter,
I see iron devouring her legs like a hound.
But now I recognize the face of the monster.
At least my father used to call this witch like this.
Next to me Kurt shouts with a smile: ʻHi, Mrs. Thatcher!ʼ
The train starts up, leaving her shade to the abyss.
ʻIt’s strange to see we can pity someone like herʼ
I stay silent but he keeps talking to me:
ʻAre you afraid of the meaning of “forever”?ʼ
Existential questions are not my cup of tea.
But I can’t think about it for too long
As we stop again at a station called Horley.
After a while, I hear the echo of a song
I turn my head and notice on a bench a dude,
Whose success was a long time ago seen as strong.
But who has now for only listener solitude.
From his mouth I hear: ʻImagine there’s no heaven..ʼ
He is whispering it with such an attitude.
This man who was the voice of peace is now broken.
With his tired hands he cries covering his head
And from his nose his pair of glasses have fallen.
Why is this man there? This question fills me with dread.
I want to ask him so many things. I speak: ʻHey, sir..ʼ
But I feel the wheels beneath me moving ahead.
My wound starts bleeding again as my senses blur.
When I wake up again, my eyes are still bright red.
My fellow musician is looking for my gaze.
However, I prefer to ignore him instead.
The tears inside my mad being continue to raise
When suddenly I notice we have stopped again
Like petrified, I can’t pronounce a single phrase.
I choose to look after having counted to ten.
Haywards Heath… I think I know where we are going.
My thoughts are broken by the vision of two men.
One is holding a skull to which he is talking.
The other one, louder, is praying for mercy
His eyes are filled with terror as he is crying.
He yells: ʻMy God, my God, look not so fierce on me!ʼ
But it’s only when he shouts ʻCome not, Lucifer!ʼ
That the entire atmosphere becomes gloomy.
A second, maybe a year, then a great clamour.
The noise is followed by the grinding of some gears.
Too late to fly, the train turns into a rocket.
Landscapes are running, whistles are drilling my ears.
If it goes on like that, I will need a bucket
Though my companion is not suffering like me,
Dreaming at the window, one hand in his pocket.
But the train eventually stops, setting me free.
The doors open and I violently rush outside
Where I now contemplate the beauty of a sea.
Appeased by the slow movement of the rising tide,
Small tears of joy drop and turn my vision to a blur.
After a while I notice Kurt has reached my side.
We stay still until I’ve wiped away the last tear.
ʻAre you happy with our final destination?ʼ
I nod seeing standing before us my dear Pier.
ʻBrighton..ʼ this word flies from my mouth like salvation.
ʻThe place I was born inʼ, ʻAnd where peace will find you.ʼ
His sentence is followed by new agitation.
ʻThere is so much my friend you still need to go throughʼ
Whistles fill my head again; the ground starts shaking.
ʻSee you Daniel!ʼ… ʻDaniel! Doctor! He made it through!ʼ
I feel the hand of my mum and hear her crying.
Tribute to Daniel McLean