This is a second posting for this poem. I have such brilliant memories of those days and whilst I still rock and roll, it’s in a very polite and sedate manner, whilst I’d much rather be whirling and swinging!
WALLFLOWER ROCK AND ROLL
Buying roses and chrysanthemums
From the woman in the market,
I ask if there are wallflowers,
This morning up for sale.
Wallflowers! says she. Why, there are bunches
In a box lying just around the corner,
Small and compact plants, to make a garden sing.
But there are no long and leggy gilly-flowers
With their scented velvet petals,
In reds and yellows, oranges, and crimsons dark as blood,
For no-one wants this lady. No-one wants to take her.
She has to flower and blossom in the shadows on her own.
We were standing down along
From the old and ravaged dance hall
That used to be our golden home in all those years gone by
When quick as a curve in time,
The dance hall years sprang out at me.
With throb of drum and splintered, icy, glitter of guitar,
A fevered trumpet singing silk; the sax’s cool desires,
Then harsh and sweet the singer sang,
And so the dance raged on and on.
Rock! Rock! Rock!
Until the street began to swing,
With fast ecstatic dancers in fast ecstatic dance.
No wallflowers in that dance hall, no little flower alone,
For short and compact, long and leggy,
They’re out there dancing on their own.
Rolling with the rest of them, rocking with the best of them,
The swirling, whirling girls with their flaring, sexy petticoats,
On their moving, grooving heels so high; stiletto thin,
They can balance on a silver coin,
Rocking angels dancing on the head of any pin.
Hot rock with grace, with love and passion,
For though they think they own the dance,
They know the dance owns them.
No wallflower lad stands all alone,
As Princely in his thick soled,
Suede, and mighty brothel creepers,
Cool and smooth in bootlace tie and Lamming gown,
With Tony Curtis curl of hair slickly curling down.
Young lions they stand, fierce, on the prowl,
Aloof and fabulous in their time,
Until the music bolds their blood,
Guitar and trumpet, sax and drum,
When flesh and skin and bone give in,
To make the dance hall sway and swing
To flirty, dirty, rock and roll.
© Gwen Grant