Graham’s book came out in a roomful of love / the art of creating good vibes as fine a gift as uplifting a rainy night w/ poems
— emily xyz
These few words by Emily XYZ, so beautifully capture my experience of the first launch of Ocean Hearted at Confit Bistro on Wednesday night. The room was packed with family & friends and the words felt like they were singing inside of me.
Sheish opened proceedings with a set of songs that had the audience leaning in… his gift as a storyteller was front and centre throughout the set. He took us on a journey of his coming to Brisbane and the various abodes he has dwelled in; his playing (guitar and keys) as elegantly understated as I have ever seen it.
Next up Rob Morris opened his set of poems with a new piece that embodied one lost traveller and took the audience deep into the heart of the Valley. Rob continued to cast his spell throughout, finishing with one of my favourites, The Night Mike Furber Smiled Back At Me. The opening line:
They pulled down Christies the year cancer pulled down dad, remember?
still hits with a wild force every time I hear it.
And then there was a surprise appearance from James Griffin, who had phoned me earlier in the day to let me know he was in town and wanted to catch up. A real moment of synchronicity… James delivered a spoken version of Black Crow Road. It was dark and hypnotic…
On the crow road
I can hear the bottleneck slide
On the black crow road
Drifting down the darkening sky
Drifting down the sheltering sky
the perfect entry point for Sheish and I to take stage and deliver a set of poems from Ocean Hearted.
We performed seven poems from the book – Swimming with my Inner Child, Riversongs, Heyford St, Beneath the Ghost, Be Ready When He Comes, Pouring the Tea and Music Lessons. Sheish playing with the force of the ocean; the music rolling in waves, uplifting the words. It was a joy… and at the end I wasn’t quite ready to finish, so we did a spontaneous version of our collaborative piece Save Myself (Sheish) / Lessons (G.Nunn).
And then, like the words and music, the conversation flowed… Night’s like this come all to infrequently in a lifetime. Night’s when the room is alight with love and poetry.