‘Gift’ is a poem inspried by John and written by Jill Harris.

To John Martyn

You who knew
the voice of water
who heard the moon rise
from a winter lake

could pluck from air
a sound so pure
it gathered into one
the lapping waves
the cries of geese
their wings beating the dawn –

you knew how to listen.
Why, then, when love died
did you not care enough
for your own soul
to wait for the return
of light, your only cure?

But seeing the wound as fatal
chose to move
beyond the lake’s dark edge
to spread your hands
above the waves
and let the music fall

long before the songs had ended
long before the geese had flown.

Even now its echo claims you
even here, eyes closed
against the light, adrift,
recalls you to a life ago
the power of a gift

which conjured music
from the heart’s dark storms
and left us with
so beautiful a song.

(c) Jill Harris
August 2016