Paris 22. A Six Sentence Story: Fractions (for Nick Cave)

Editor’s note: The following poem is offered as part of the Six Sentence Story challenge hosted by Girlie on the Edge. During my recent stay in Paris I went to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds and Kraftwerk at the Rock en Seine festival. Kraftwerk was awesome to see, though I didn’t stay for the full set because of finding a good early spot for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – whose performance was, in three words: powerful, emotional and beautiful. My poem today is dedicated to Nick Cave. The prompt word is: Form.


On form, your form a gyrating, leaping, prowling preacher man, playing poet to a Parisian crowd pendulous at your every breath.

Just breathe… just breathe… can you feel my heartbeat, can you feel it, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, CRY, CRY, CRY you said, ALL NIGHT LONG… CRY, CRY, CRY.

Is it bad form for me to feel fractions of a busted heart, when I should be bad-ass dancing to your Bad Seeds?

Busted hearts, fractions, filaments of fossilised memories falling softly upon the meadow of a heart, left to flower when the last funeral wagon went west, CRY, CRY, CRY, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM, can you feel my heartbeat… just breathe, just breathe…

‘Just breathe’ was my fucking lament back then, to the gods and angels and any fucker who would listen, but too late – he was already blue when we found him; cold little hands curled around our fingers, his heartbeat lost to the gallop of horses far, far away, CRY, CRY, CRY, BOOM, BOOM, BOOM.

Fractions, falling, divided and shared, the fragility of sons, the gravestone tears which go softly by, softly cry… cry, cry, cry, boom, boom, boom, fractions of fractions, I lost half of what you lost, and oh how I need you tonight to help heal this heart, I need you, like you need a fraction of us, and like we all need fractions of one another to put back together these busted hearts, just breathe, just breathe, just breathe…

Fractions written by Ford Waight, 29 August 2022.

Nick Cave composite by Ford. Taken at the concert from the live video screen, 26/08/22.

All other photos by Sylvie Waight. Taken at the concert, 26/08/22.

Fan videos bonus. The following may or may not work in your country, or just get screwed up by WP anyway. If they work, enjoy!


  1. 5′ mark at the last video…the embodiment of the communion happening that night…
    And embraced by your poem Ford, with words that can only come from someone who wholeheartedly participated.
    I am as glad you witnessed it as I would be if I was there.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Excellent observation my friend. It was a communion for sure. The video in question is the song ‘From Her to Eternity’ where the refrain of “cry, cry, cry” is dominant. In fact, the entire show that night was on the theme of ‘cry, cry, cry’, as well as ‘boom, boom, boom’, ‘can you feel my heartbeat’, ‘just breathe’, ‘all night long’ and ‘I need you’… which was the title of his song recorded directly after the death of his son (the poor guy went on to lose yet another son, just recently).
      But that is the beauty of art when you can transform pain into creation. I felt half of Nick’s pain because I lost my middle son many years ago. Hence, my theme of ‘fractions’. You never forget but the pain does ease in time, through reflection and art and… breathing.
      Just breathe.
      Halfway there, three-quarters of the way there, then one day the pain will go completely. I know. It’s a fraction thing. And if you can do even one-eighth of that shit with a small on your face…

      Can’t tell you how chuffed I was when he played ‘Red Right Hand’, ay! I was wearing my Shelby Company of Birmingham tee-shirt for the gig. By order 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aye Ford…picked up something on your poem but I would not expand on it…
        The fact that you can…now…fracture remains always but it is not open and twisted, becoming a part of you.
        The pain dissipates and is up to you to eventually paint that smile on your face as you raise your middle Birmingham finger to the Fates and simultaneously raise your soul’s arms to blanket your son.

        By order.

        Liked by 2 people

        • Fkn ‘ell, mate: “to eventually paint that smile on your face as you raise your middle Birmingham finger to the Fates…” is poetry.
          I concur. These incidents are what make us who we are. We are spiritual beings having a very human experience. Raising a glass to you 🍷

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Stunned, moved, with you every word of the way, and in awe of the power of this piece, Ford. As I read of your pain (for which my deepest condolences), my immediate thoughts went to the loss of his two sons, which you’ve mentioned later in the comments. I remember going to see Nick in his Birthday Party days and to see the magnificent body of work he has produced since has made this Australian very proud. For the non-cognoscenti,

    Liked by 2 people

  3. yeah.
    (believed I saw a glistening of red among the words of your Six as they, with that capacity that some are capable of imbuing words making up a story…all the more impressive with being limited to Six)
    nicely done

    can’t recall how long ago was the last full-scale concert I’ve attended, which makes it ‘too long’.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Clark. Those couple of years Covid restrictions we had, they put a big damp blanket over many live shows. It was so good to get to a festival like this, and to see Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds – mind blown!


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