What’s past is prologue.

The past takes our hand,
guiding us forwards,
giving comfort,
providing excuses,
telling us tales.

The past walks beside us,
shadowing our path,
making judgements,
fighting old battles,
taking names.

The past is a liar
dogging our steps,
bending our ear,
feeding our hopes,
setting us traps.

A snatched contentment
easing our days-
a fantasy playground
where innocence plays.

Stretch out your hand.
Take what you can.
The road can be weary
and it’s a long way home.

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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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Blink.

Who you are, I once was.
Where you stand, I once stood.
Blink and the world turns.

Details change, people don’t-
they find fresh ways to hurt,
fresh ways to be kind,
fresh ways to strut and preen,
fresh ways to create and destroy.
Life goes on
while we watch ourselves
recede into the distance.
Things fall apart.

Memories sweeten
as the past is recreated
in our own image.
We retell our story
as we hoped it would be-
editors of our own existence,
bringing meaning,
adding in,
leaving out.

Who you are, I once was.
Where you stand, I once stood.
Blink and the world turns.

Peeling back the Years.

I stripped the bark from ash twigs,
just because I could.
Long straight arrows,
pointing to the sky,
with neatly twinned black buds
and high hopes,
mutilated, cut down in their prime
to be made new.

Slowly greenness soaked under my nails
as the coarse grey skin
gave up its secret.
Damp white flesh
dried into a hardness,
that was soft as bedtime,
smooth as ice cream,
pale as a dream.

Sometimes I strung one with twine
and fired the thinnest bamboo cane,
but usually they would lie forgotten
until the next walk
and the next trophy,
longer, straighter, finer.
That was no sadness-
It was the doing that mattered.

The Truth about Unicorns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s not about knitting, grandchildren, coach tours
and wondering how you ever had time to work.
It’s about filling in time.

It’s not about allotments, bungalows, comfy shoes
and a nice glass of sherry at six o’clock.
It’s about fear.

It’s not about memories and nostalgia.
It’s not about the good old days.
It’s about forgetting.

It’s standing on a foreign shore
while strangers take your memories
and rebuild them brick by brick
to their own liking.

It’s watching as the things you cared about
slip away into the past, unnoticed,
until all you have to rely on is yourself.

It is about tottering through firestorms of loss,
guided by burning tornadoes.
Pillars of fire lighting the way
through a blistered landscape,
leading you home.