Tom Simard

Poetry, Music, and Prose

A Street Musician

A Street Musician
Emotion rages
with every pounding
finger crash
of a street musician
who plays
as the sun sets
and the courtyards meet
at Saint Hubert.

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2 thoughts on “A Street Musician

  1. Your imagery always seems to resonate with me. This piece makes me think of two things:
    1) I love buskers. One lovely memory I have is from Ireland, circa 1994. My then-girlfriend and I were walking past a busker who was singing an acoustic version of Radiohead’s “Creep.” As we walked past, my girlfriend, who had a lovely voice, started singing as well, doing an even better job than the busker. It really was a beautiful moment.

    2) A joke I heard years ago (I think this is originally by the comedian Rich Hall):

    If a guy gets up on stage and sings while he’s strumming a guitar, he’s a singer-songwriter.
    If the same guy then straps a harmonica around his neck he’s a genius, ala Bob Dylan or Neil Young.
    If he then goes the extra mile and slaps a couple of cymbals on his legs, suddenly he’s a freak act.


  2. A great memory.

    I love the idea of music in the streets.

    Besides the guitarist in Brussels, a harpist and flautist in Munich, and a bagpiper outside the Cologne Cathedral come to mind. There was also that busker who was playing at the top of a flight of stairs leading down to an underground in a city I can no longer remember. I’d put in some change into his guitar case and listened to a few songs before asking him if he knew any Dylan. If I had known I was about to be treated to a harangue that would have put Positively 4th Street to shame I would have sat in respectful silence. As he continued his verbal tirade, I suddenly realized there was no reason to continue listening to him, so I walked off, regretting a little I hadn’t first snatched back the money I’d earlier given him.


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