Friday, September 24, 2021





When we turned off the wireless in the lounge-room

my father once said you can’t beat a nightcap.

Slumber should be deep, dreamless and rewarding.

Lean times. His choice was cheap Johnny Walker red.

He would run his tongue over his lips and say goodnight

the last thing before sleep.


Times are okay now. I’ve walked in the Cuillins

which he sang about but never got to. He never smelt

‘…the tangle of the Isles.’

I’ve travelled to untangle a string of work worries

Had wild highland heather scrape the campervan

and uncorked a Lagavulin in the long twilight.

-        that unmistakeable aroma of smokey peat –

wishing I could share it with him

the last thing before sleep.


I’m fourteen years older than my father was when he died.

My youngest son is catching up to both of us.

He who stuck a giant poster of Kurt Cobain

on his bedroom wall all those years ago

after he’d heard the bad news and stared at it

his guitar across his chest

the last thing before sleep.


-        © 2019  Murray Jennings

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