Psychedelic Derek (A poem)


I wrote this yesterday when I had five minutes. It's not brilliant I know but
I put in down in biro on a piece of paper and put it in me pocket and forgot it
Until I walked the dogs and met my crackhead and pisshead mates down the canal.
They asked me what I had done that day so I showed them my poem and recited it.
They were confused until I read it again. One of them cried a bit. Not because of Derek
but because I stood there and did it. It was my first live poetry gig. Among the dog eggs and
blue bottles of Cider that ay never seen an apple.                            

Derek Dougan groovin' with the Moog on
His eyes like Tangerines, your moustache thick and black 
lost in the middle of Whitmore Reans, the heart break Red Roofs Hotel
Lost in the North Bank we were mate, feet stamping and shouting 
I used to see you when I was a kid as I delivered the paper
Getting out of your swanky car with your funky flares and mad tie
Lost in the early seventies the sixties just gone
Shot like a big arsed IRA bomb, glass everywhere
Cortinas and Granadas and Vauxhall Vivas, Hillman Imps 
You always waved and said hello, I gave you a free Express and Star
but you were stuck in the strings of the maudlin Cello half the time
that played as it did during most of our games. I am not going to name names
But you Derek, what did you mean? What did you listen to?
Strike fast and keel showing keen throwing shapes
You might have been a Wolves player, a maestro a magician 
but I knew what you really were, I sensed it. The first Rock Star footballer
Playing guitar for the Grateful Dead or Jefferson Airplane
with the songs from the North Bank stuck in your head
the buzz of the bass just kicking in you plinking blues riffs
football as life without and within. I loved you more than George Best
You were always a hero to me and to them. I look at your old photos
As you moved you flashed colours unseen, pink purple, red and violet
of gold and black and luminous green
a wizard you were mate and we all agree fucked up on 250mg of LSD looking at the birds flying up above
Psychedelic Derek scores makes it three, face crushed up the barrier, streams of piss
we sing and shout and scream aloud, looking for the odd fifty pence piece underneath
your suede fringed jacket and hair long and proud
you looked like you should have been in Black Sabbath I think, a rock star not a footballer
avoiding another errant truncheon dink, another shove off a Coppers angst
I keep thinking about you Doog, lately
Especially when the sun sets and I'm listening to Pink Floyd
Wish you were here or Shine On you crazy diamond