Sunset Wine

Sunset Wine

A Poem by Fabian G. Franklin

For my dear departed friend, Paul Squires.



Evening wears like five o'clock shadows;

grizzled grey gruff  beneath wrinkled brow.

Every memory, taunting and hollow

except for black and white pictures now.

There is the man in the felt fedora,

smoking his smelly old Cuban cigar.

Back bent low as he rests on elbows

over his whiskey in a seaside bar

The restaurant air, heavy and greasy;

Scallops and shrimp and oyster stew

While ocean waves wash slow and easy

primordial sands with strains of blue

Piano tunes play from hazy poolrooms

Ivory notes that are filled with soul

A leather-jacketed man chalks his cue

Jazz of Count Basie and Nat King Cole

Will we fall in love only

to find it regrettable?

Shall I remain; a sweet refrain...


The night wears on in trails of blue

Cigarette smoke fills the seaside bar

Rolling like dark Mississippi bayous

As Muddy Waters plays his guitar

Girls hike up their shining skirts

Flash of flesh as they dance and grind

Buying their whiskey never hurts

Knowing the thing on every man's mind

Night goes flying in raucous laughter

Only to settle on spilling rim

Where the drink is drunk; sedated after

In quiet corners where light is dim

To be certain there will be

A morning after;

a dull accounting of distant sin

But tonight we are free

From parish and pastor

To swim in the sea or bathtub gin

Ragweed smell in restaurant lot

Tells of lovers parked in the night

Windows rolled up and smoking pot

Away from others and safe from sight

And all the while we hear the band;

Blues and Jazz of a thousand nights

Black cat bone, Hoochie Coochie Man

In waves reflecting colored lights

Out on the sea the moon shines alone

Drinking the ocean; salty with brine

Pulling her skirts and shuffling on

Until all is forgotten in sunset wine




© 2017 Fabian G. Franklin

My Review

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Featured Review

"Black cat bone, Hoochie Coochie Man.. Count Basie and Nat King Cole..Muddy Waters"- the notes of this poem are deep rooted and musicality runs throughout its rhythmic lines. Incredible noir imagery-b&w characters exposed under bare lightbulbs, smoking Cuban cigars and pulling up of skirts at a seaside bar. Hemingway-esque and brilliantly penned. Eloquent riff of smells, sights and sounds of a time gone..Master Class poem. Thanks to Emmajoy for introducing me to your work!

Posted 1 Month Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thank you for reading. I'm happy that you enjoyed the poem.


Oh the images this poem conjures up and lovely sounds. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Made me think of my favorite writer Ernest Hemingway, as I read it.

Posted 2 Weeks Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

This comment has been deleted by the poster.

2 Weeks Ago

Also, I picture Hemingway himself sitting there smoking the Cuban cigar.
Fabian G. Franklin

2 Weeks Ago

I enjoyed A Farewell to Arms but was never able to get through For Whom the Bell Tolls...I found Hem.. read more
we may have our disagreements. but we both loved Paul.

I'll give this a proper review later.

but "smelly cigar" is Paul through and through

Posted 3 Weeks Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

3 Weeks Ago

I'll gladly give him his eight million kudos...I was listening to some Muddy Waters, Nat and Count B.. read more
Emma joy thought I would enjoy this and Emma joy was quite correct.
Whether rightly or not, I find myself thinking of Robbie Robertson's Somewhere Down that Crazy River.
I love the atmospheres created here.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thanks for reading and leaving your kind comment. I love The Band, I have The Last Waltz on DVD and .. read more
All this going on, regardless of that beautiful sun-set, in memories of black and white? I can really 'see' the characters, and 'hear' the music. Then the moon shuffles on 'until all is forgotten in sunset wine' I think you really cared for your friend, God rest his soul.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

I was listening to some old blues and jazz as I wrote this including Count Basie and Muddy Waters..... read more
this is mesmerizing, with all the imagery created not only to be visualized, but also to be felt. The poem pulls the reader into the atmosphere created and the world within it. amazing expressions used and words that come together to create a story !!!
this was beyond amazing. It was soothing to the mind and musical to the ears

Posted 1 Month Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thank you for reading and your kind comment. I'm very glad you enjoyed. Bless.
A really wonderful offering that reeks with smells and flavours and tastes, displayed in a jaunty rhyming poem that flows like melted chocolate. It has dark and light hues and is indeed a fitting tribute to your friend.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thanks for dropping by, reading and leaving a review. I appreciate your time and thoughts and I'm pl.. read more
first off... i am sorry you have lost a good friend ... the hole it leaves we fill with memories don't we .. and boy does this poem spark the memories in many times and circumstances .. i love the nitty gritty of its flavor ...i can lick the bourbon from my lips after reading ...reminds me of the beat poets for sure and my all time favorite book Cannery Row ... you sent me down to the river doing the barrel roll ;) what a fine read for me
ps. rhyming and rhythm is not concrete but very musical .. especially "muse" like ;) nice job!

Posted 1 Month Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thank you for reading and for your condolences. Paul was a great friend although we never met person.. read more
Einstein Noodle

1 Month Ago

:) ..............
WOW! Thanks to Emmajoy for read-requesting me on this! I love the rhyme & rhythm & playfulness of your details, so well described & relatable! I love writing similar style with music references, so this was a great inspiration to my own ideas for writing. I especially love the way your details are so familiar, yet everything is original sounding. Brings back many memories! *smile* Fondly, Margie

Posted 1 Month Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed. I'm even happier if it inspired you, even in some small.. read more
I really like how discriptive this is and the imagery is great, it captures the essence of a certain time and place really well. It felt like I was there experiencing everything when I read it.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

Thank you for reading and your review. I endeavor to return all reviews but I noticed you haven't po.. read more
Wow! I feel like I entered a time machine and was transported back to my youth. Such vivid imagery awakens all the senses and triggers memories from a bygone era. The last verse especially is awesome.

Posted 1 Month Ago

Fabian G. Franklin

1 Month Ago

HA! You have no idea how much I appreciate this review. I wrote this for my dear departed friend, Pa.. read more
Ellen Hammond

1 Month Ago

Well, in that case, you have honored your friend's memory well because that is just how I felt as I .. read more

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18 Reviews
Added on August 30, 2017
Last Updated on August 30, 2017


Fabian G. Franklin
Fabian G. Franklin

Boone, NC

Visit my blog at "No great genius has ever existed without some touch of madness." Aristotle "The salvation of man is through love and in love." From Man's Sea.. more..