David Cooke
Big Muff

(i.m. 1948-2009)

In the picture-perfect scenery of Challes-les-Eaux
in seventy-five, locked in private darkness,
I played your lost indefinable music
on a tired loop of tape: Solid Air –
its title track an elegy for a friend you couldn’t save,
while you were destined to survive.
With a brawler’s zest for living,
you absorbed the booze and heartbreak.

When I heard you had died I found you
in the afterlife of YouTube, restraining tears
for grief you’d caused,
knowing your muse, Serendipity,
had always been a harsh one, that even now
there could have been no easier way.

David Cooke

I received this a week ago and today, what would have been John's 61st birthday, seems a good day to publish this elegy. David writes:
"I have been sitting on an elegy I wrote for John earlier this year. (...) I'm sending it to you because I'm not sure I can rely on the average poetry editor being as familiar with John's work as maybe they should be. Anyway, here it is - at least it has the virtue of not being too long."
David is a Gregory Award winning poet whose work has been widely published in the UK and Ireland.