Described now
as a brilliant
folk-soul star
Bill Withers it is

He of those
gentle songs
deceptively so
as they had messages

(Better Off Dead
described an alcoholic
venturing towards suicide)

His Lean On Me
ends the etv news
to perk us all up
in a time of isolation

Wary was he
of the music industry
he stuck to his day job
until he was laid off

The Rock and Roll
Hall of Fame came
and he had a dig
at his record label

Might the live
very lively Use Me
(Carnegie Hall 1973)
tell us a different tale
in the modern age

Ain’t no sunshine
not exactly my mom’s
perfect sentence
she tea-drinkingly English

Ain’t no sunshine

Now he is gone

Friday evening’s etv news, Michelle Constant’s Saturday morning SAFM radio Jet-set Breakfast opening and The Guardian’s Alexis Petridis all pay tribute to the 81-year old with the “everyman image”. See Petridis’ “Bill Withers: the brilliant folk-soul star who said it all with time to spare”.