It was a Cornish Summer,
nearly fifty years ago.
After a long thirst-inducing day,
repeatedly scrambling up cliffs
I could almost climb blindfolded.
I climbed them by moonlight too
by the end of that week.
I went to the cliff top pub for a pint,
not far from the campsite.
A pint which turned into twelve.
Dehydration can lead to excess.
I watched people dancing,
the cropped turf worn almost smooth.
There was a four piece group playing,
good solid driving beats
with an occasional wailing guitar solo.
The female drummer,
who turned out to be their leader,
flitted around her drum kit
like a denim blue butterfly.
Long black hair swinging,
sticks flung high into the darkness
and caught without fail or fumble.
Her gorgeous little bum keeping perfect time.
Then they played a gypsy tune
and my normally leaden feet
took on a life of their own,
way beyond mere toe tapping.
I rarely dance, but that night was different.
I leapt onto a big round table,
and the dozen girls surrounding it,
after guarding their drinks,
urged me on.
A wild improvised flamenco
drawn from some deep race memory.
The Man in Black, shirt unbuttoned,
hair flying, lost in the moment.
The bouncers came to drag me away,
but the girls told them to bugger off.
Hiking boots make a fine racket
on a sturdy wooden table.
My introvert turned inside out.
When the tune ended I leapt off
to ragged applause,
Suddenly aware again.
God, it felt good.
Later I helped the drummer,
lugging her kit to the van,
thanked them for a fine performance.
She smiled, dark brown eyes flashing.
"You're a bit of a performer yourself,
I saw your dance."
And, half a century later,
I can still see her playing.
I've been writing ever since I realised I could. Storytelling since I started talking. Poetry however comes and goes