James Taylor “You’ve got a friend”
This is a track of its time. I have sometimes thought James is a little too “middle of the Road” for my taste but this track means a lot. Like me James Taylor is in his 70th year and is one of the best selling
folk singers of all time selling over 100 million records. He is a prolific songwriter but I have chosen this track which was written by Carole King. King said the song was inspired by James Taylor song “Fire and Rain” which contains the line “I’ve seen lonely times when I could not find a friend”
The track reminds me of all the good friends I have made over the years and also of those I have lost, some because they died or those friends who drifted away because their lives changed or mine did.
Yesterday I went to a hospital to collect a friend whose husband is terminally ill. She cannot drive and relies on others to give her lifts. She says she has been cheered by those who have stepped up and supported her and saddened by those who did not.
There have been times in my life when friends have stepped up for me. When the first Mrs Price left I was devastated but also amazed at the small acts of kindness that meant so much. The friend who came around with some food and a bottle of wine and listened while I wittered on about how sorry I was for myself.
On another occasion, after my second marriage broke up, a random woman in a pub chatted me up and although it came to nothing and was no more than a flirtatious few moments, I remember even today how I felt as I walked home with a smile on my face for the first time in ages. She will have no memory of it and doesn’t know that all those years ago she gave back hope to a broken-hearted stranger.
There are friends who you don’t see too often but when you do the years just seem to fall away. There are those who, although they are gone, you still remember with love and affection and one in particular who still visits me in my dreams.
My poem this week is about the spaces left by absent friends.
The Unexpected Chime
There are shared secrets in my house
Talk of things that have passed
and of things that are to come
There are empty wine bottles in my house
Crushed cans of Bavarian Beer
and discarded pieces of chocolate wrappers
There is music in my house
From bands who broke up years ago
and singers who sing no more
There are empty places in my house
Stacked with silent dining table chairs
and food strewn plates and stained coffee cups
There is poetry in my house
In books that line a bedroom wall
Signed by poets who write no more
There is hope in my house
From a half forgotten small acts of kindness
and the unexpected chime of a doorbell
© Jeff Price June 2018