Time future.

You will remain yourself,
though people will no longer recognise you.
You will travel back through time
as your future foreshortens.
You will see ghosts.
You will be stripped back to your core,
reshaped by loss.
You will leave behind nightmares
and set aside dreams.

There will be no more pretending,
no more posing, no more excuses,
no more frills.
You will come to know what you had
and recognise who you are.
You will watch the world speed up,
as it prepares to move on without you,
reaching out your hand.

Just you and your memories.
Holding firm.

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Shards of remembrance.

Each time we remember,
we remake.
Each time we drift back,
we renew.
We are fragile,
like glass.

My childhood lies
broken around my bare feet,
clouded with dust,
shattered by time.
Jagged windows
which lead me back,
teasing out lost thoughts,
showing me myself,
reflecting me home.

Tiny diamond splinters,
shards of remembrance,
sink into my soft skin,
cutting, needling,
glinting in the past.
Some things are gone.
Only their brightness remains.
Familiar, forgotten moments
which fit together,
indistinct, incomplete.
Telling me lies,
even as they record the truth.
Was I really there?
Did I really see?
I hold each piece up to the light,
polishing it with my breath,
paying it attention,
allowing it to shine.

Each time we remember,
we remake.
Each time we drift back,
we renew.
We are fragile,
like glass.

Doors.

A door bears the lingering, silent shadow
of each person who has passed through it.
A presence worn too deep to gloss away,
bled into the grain of the wood.

A door still feels the hand of each person
who ran a finger along its edge,
turned a knob or slipped through an opening
into the freedom of an empty space.

A door remembers slams, shouts and tears.
It holds a memory of each person who walked through it
looking back with reluctance, hiding fears.
A door bears scars.

A door remembers hushed spaces, secret meetings,
quiet giggles, passion and privacy.
It says nothing and sees everything.
A closed door is blind.

A door remembers running children filled with laughter,
times which never thought to end.
The happiness of a frozen moment, the scent of forgiveness,
the voice of a friend.

An open door holds a space where many wishes cross.
It is a place of challenges, of loss and gain,
a chronicle of coming and goings, sharp regrets,
and promises to people who are never seen again.

Shadows on the Door. Jiro Takamatsu. 1968. Installed at the Henry Moore Institute. Leeds.

Shadows on the Door. Jiro Takamatsu. 1968. Installed at the Henry Moore Institute. Leeds.

 

 

When did the wind change?

When did the wind change?
The first brittle leaves
stumbled down from the trees
in the heat of summer.
They lay on the ground
in plain sight
while the children ran
barefoot over the warm grass.
Nobody noticed.

When did the dark nights begin?
The sunset crept forward
so gently that darkness
came as a surprise.
The children were called home,
scampering into their lighted houses
one by one..
Heads were laid to rest.
Night fell.

When did the world change?
How long has it belonged
to someone else?
Summer slipped through my fingers
while I looked away.
Skeletons of bare trees
stretch upwards through fallen beauty,
reaching for home.
I keep walking.

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The Crown of our Life.

Death is a secret.
It hides under ancient hedges,
overgrown with denial.
It slips in unseen
while you are not watching.
It arrives uninvited
with the force of a thunderbolt.
It takes its time.
It waits.

Life is a gift.
unexpected, unsolicited,
on loan from the past.
A delicate stream of consciousness
spun from twisted threads
of love and hope.

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Resurrection.

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“We didn’t have to do much
to bring you back,”
the nurse said.
For two minutes
my heart had stopped beating.
Wait! Think!
That’s a long time,
and unless I have developed
the powers of resurrection
-which seems unlikely-
I was not dead.
So where was I?

Everything that I know and love,
thoughts, feelings, memories,
had been held in silent darkness
while the world went on
without me.
Stasis.
My lifeblood stilled.
The core of everything I am
kept safe, held together
during a time of unknowing.
A being held in trust
in the midst of emptiness.

So where was I?
Where did I come back from?
How was I found again?
How dead was I?

Everybody has to be somewhere.

All the time in the world.

There comes a moment
– and it happens quite suddenly,
without warning-
when you realise that you will no longer
be able to do everything that you hoped to do,
not even with all the luck, health
and money that you could possibly hope for.
You no longer have all the time in the world.
The song lied.
It is time to choose.
Time to stop messing about.
Time to be real.

So how did you do?
What have you to show for those years?
Those choices?
Those successes?
Those opportunities?
Those failures?
Whose fault was it?
Who have you got left to blame?
Was it what you really wanted?
Was it worth it?
There are no answers.
There is no going back
to find that young person
who had the advantage of knowing everything.
You know much less now-
and that’s wisdom for you.

Just keep walking into the sun.