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MacQueen’s Quinterly: Knock-your-socks-off Art and Literature
Issue 15: Sept. 2022
Poem: 128 words [R]
(Sonku: Sonnet + Haiku)
By Hazel Hall

Let the Bass Walk With You

After Chet Baker’s “Almost Blue” (Tokyo, 1987)
Your song begins at dusk when the air 
is heavy with late day and scented with plums. 
Leftover sunbeams kindle aubergine hills. 
Pink clouds ripple the river as you slip 
through the mysteries of substitute clusters. 
Let the bass walk with you on the way. 

Glissade into the strangeness of evening. 
Stray into purples on the flat side. 
Spike your B♭ minor with a five. 
Play last wisps of cloud soaking up the bright. 
Let the keyboard’s tritones wink 
when that cymbal moon is brushed 
with gold as it climbs through the sky. 
Take it easy. Play “Once long ago.” 
Play this drowsy, drowsy night. 

	almost blue 
	a trickle of claret 
	left in my glass 



Audio file above of Hazel Hall reading her sonku was created on 4 October 2021, and appears here with her permission.

This recording was broadcast by ArtSound.FM (Canberra, Australia) in November 2021 in their series Poetry on the Radio, in which poets recite one of their poems, comment on it, and then recite the same poem again. (For Ms. Hall’s poem and commentary, scroll down to POTR 03, near the the bottom of the ArtSound.FM page.)


Publisher’s Note:

Audio is available on YouTube of jazz trumpeter and singer Chet Baker (born 23 December 1929; died 13 May 1988) performing Almost Blue from his live album Chet Baker in Tokyo (released in June 1987).

See also this video of Baker’s live performance: Almost Blue

Links retrieved on 31 August 2022:



Hazel Hall
Issue 15, September 2022

is a poet and musicologist who is well published in Australia and internationally. Her collections include Step By Step: Tai Chi Meditations (Picaro Poets, 2018), Moonlight over the Siding (Interactive Press, 2019), Severed Web (Picaro Poets, 2020), and a verse drama, Please Add Your Signature and Date It Here (Litoria Press, 2021). Her sonnet collection A Hint of Rosemary is forthcoming.

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