Day17: Not Red Radio

Not Red Radio


a packed common room is guaranteed

on Thursday night for TOTP

or Top of the Pops – now we can see

the faces and the moves

the grooves, the new songs

and look at what they are wearing!


the days for music lovers are Thursdays and Sundays


the Sunday top forty count-down

when I’m going to tape the whole thing

I would buy

two C90s

or I would take just one

when trying to catch a few songs


wait for the DJ’s intro

to trail away, then snap off the pause

play and record

the triangle and the red button

allow the recording to go on

so that Blondie or New Order

can perform later on


it was not a red radio

but a fourteenth year


now I know that

most of the jukebox running

around my brain

was from then on



back to the counter

play, rewind to the second

then stop at the new sweet spot

ready to pounce, just wait

to catch the next band


if the cassette is not done tonight, then

turn it on the other side

and rewind on a biro pen



Saffron – April 2020



Write a poem that features forgotten technology. Maybe it’s a VCR, or a rotary phone. A cassette player or even a radio. If you’re looking for a potential example, check out this poem by Adam Clay, which takes its central metaphor from something that used to stoke fear in the hearts of kids typing term papers, or just trying to play a game of Oregon Trail.


3 thoughts on “Day17: Not Red Radio

  1. Top of the Pops in the common room? Oh yes!!! Birmingham Polytechnic 1978 / 1979 until moving into a shared house with no television.

    The Top 20 countdown for a hour, when I was 13 or so. Recorded sometimes on my father’s reel-to-reel machine.

    Two memories you’ve dug out for me with your delightful poem!!

    Thank you

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s