give me your hand
we have something great
all this wonder
as you sit by your guitar
you will conquer this world
take it for a whirl
you’re a skinny man
but your eyes are full
hand to your head
in a Berlin street
do all you can
till you can do no more
end it like a riff
strum and shift
you seem to be sure
in that cabinet door
in stark lighting
you sing to me
always will be
a vision of colour
like no other
a star man
Nick Drake was a singer-songwriter of the late sixties and early seventies, particularly skilled with the acoustic guitar. His music was soft and meaningful. Unfortunately, his songs only gained popularity posthumously. His death, in 1974 at the age of 26 from drug overdose, is not known to be an act suicide or an accident.
He is one of my favourite artists and if you aren’t familiar with his work I suggest you look him up 🙂
The young man’s eyes gazed up to the ceiling, attempting to filter through the darkness. His feet were sticking out the end of the hand stitched quilt, which sent a chill up the rest of his lanky body. He gently sat up, letting himself hunch over in an attempt to recollect his complex dreams. A sliver of morning light streamed through a gap in his velvet curtains, highlighting the golden streaks in his long brown hair. It beckoned him over to the window as his long fingers drew the fabric aside. A fruit tree faced him in the garden, thriving in the touches of warmth. The sight caused him to smile, which felt funny to his usual stiff expression. This was the same fruit tree that had inspired him to write an entire song.
“Fame is but a fruit tree, so very unsound.
It can never flourish, till its stock is in the ground.
So men of fame, can never find a way,
Till time has flown far from their dying day”
Suddenly, he felt the tingle in his hands to pick up the nearby acoustic guitar and replicate what he experienced from last nights sleep.
His mother peered into his room, obviously pleased he had a healthy glow to his smooth face. She left after informing him breakfast was about to be served. He could smell the sugary waft of blueberry pancakes.
His callused fingers began a slow melody. He pictured an audience were sitting outside the window, fingers leaving dirty marks and breath bequeathing ghostly silhouettes. He shuddered and turned to face the head of his bed instead. An oil painting with a rose tinted moon was more pleasant to perform to. He thought about his last recording, the faces of his friends that had been so troubled. They could not possibly understand what that song had done to him. Was the subject of the song, “black eyed dog” a symbol for the hell hounds? Had all his music been contaminated with metaphors and riddles? Should the fruit tree out his window be a cypress?
After hitting an ugly note he stopped playing and inhaled deeply. The single note sustained through the silence. He swallowed a lump that had been caught at the back of his throat. There. He got up to get changed in his brown corduroys, white paisley shirt and warm black jacket. His clothes smelt of grass and dirt, an earthy scent that Nick found comfort in. His dark eyes closed and let his soft lips part. He felt a pressure subside. He was in his parents home, safe, away from people that constantly demanded things of him. Of painstaking deadlines and embarrassing live performances. He felt like a baby bird safe in the wings of a warm nest.
He ruffled through his knapsack till he found his favourite plectrum and hurried, guitar in hand, to the kitchen. He heard the faint sound of something spilling out of his bag, but gave it no further thought as he went to join his Mother and Father for breakfast. A bottle labeled “Tryptizol,” rolled to a stop on the floor. Orange pills were scattered everywhere. Laughter could be heard echoing down the hallway