The Cavern - For My Sons



A rush, a joining, carry
downwards, into sweet
sickly perfumed blackness
where needs and shyness meet
Snaking round this sinking spiral,
queueing tapping feet

Hard hitting heat that smothers
bursting into eyes and lungs
Hand in your scarf, and jacket,
Turn, and feel the sound of drums
Avoid the Gents at all costs
where bleach and urine meet
Testosterone surrounds you
and queuing splashing feet

Buried in your stomach
a pocketful of hopes,
tonight's the night you dream of
will it all go up in smoke
By now the sweat is soiling
trousers, shirt and socks
Are all my chances ruined
my hopes dashed on the rocks

where, there's condensation dripping
coating drums and amps and us
leaving nothing dry but sweaty
What times is the last bus
A drink or three of Pepsi
will slake this dancer's thirst
I'll stay and walk home later
but my bladder's fit to burst

Emerging from the toilets
feeling free and better too
Spying love across the cellar
Takes an age to fight right through
"Are you dancing?"
"Are you asking?"
One dance leads to four
We collapse on leathered seating
"Want a drink?"
"Yes, coke will do"

Slumped, within this heaving sauna
wherein a dozen drums,
damage every eardrum
of everyone whose young
We're prisoners of the moment
we live or die right there
It is everything we wished for
Our raison d'etre is clear

Krakatoa hammers through us
Two hours, three or four
Hearts happy for an evening
Now, too tired to take the floor
The beat is all consuming
It is thunder in the heat
The effort of our shouting
renders voices to a bleat

Trudging up the stairs together
Collecting coats and gloves and scarves
Although we're not yet lovers
The evening has been ours
We escaped into a dungeon
a cellar full of sighs
We've made it to the last bus
It's time to say goodbyes

By John Humphries