I see you hiding in a window’s reflection
or in the shadow of a street light.
I see you in the pattern of fallen leaves
or traced in the stars at night.
Life doesn’t stop
no matter how much you
beg, wish, scream or whimper,
it doesn’t fucking stop even
when you grab it by the throat
and punch it in its smirking face.
No, life just looks you straight in the eye
smiling back through broken teeth
and laughs saying.”The best you get out of me
is a pause mate. Make the most of it.”
And a pause is just, well just shit really
as you try hard to remember.
Elastic shoved down your sleeves holding gloves,
going over the lines in Action Man colouring books.
Breaking prized Poole Pottery mugs
and all the things you once shared and loved.
And now you collect certificates and bills, wince at condolences and hugs,
try to sleep without the aid of prescription drugs.
“Stop snivelling you little shit.” Life says.
“The world is still turning it won’t stop for you and your memories.”
Memories of discovering a shared love of ancient history
puzzling over the solution to Sunday night Miss Marple mysteries.
Standing round bonfires waving sparklers and shivering
helping with that first job of newspaper delivering.
And now you fill in so many forms your fingers feel like they’re blistering.
“I’m OK, thanks.” You lie, voice barely above whispering.
Then you realise you don’t need the world
to actually stop you never did, so
you release your grip on life’s neck
dust it down offer and apology and say.
“Thank you for that pause
it encompassed a life time
and that was all I needed,”
I remember the panic house music raised,
torn smileys and cops on the front of the NME.
BBC radio banning use of the word acid,
repetitive bleats of scaremongering in the news.
It was the last year I had hair
until the beats in my head,
became voices that made me
get it all shaved off.
My Mom didn’t speak to me for two days,
said I looked like I’d had chemo,
now she doesn’t remember the story.
It’s funny really how in spite of all
the monumental changes going on,
our minds go back to the little things,
the small moments that define our life.
Tiptoeing round our family,
when all we really wanted to do
was rant and rave loud enough
to be heard.
This is the poem that refused to stay dead
it clawed its way out of my head.
The words struggled and scrambled for the light,
pressed together in a shambolic incoherent half-life.
A poem eager to escape the shallow grave of my brain
a rhyme I thought I’d buried and would never see again.
This is the poem that came back from the dead
that has no heart or spirit left.
Verses that have no right to exist
an unliving, unloved family of misfits.
Constantly struggling just too even breathe
yet unwilling to die despite being so ill-conceived.
This is the poem that should have stayed dead
it shouldn’t live, it should be six feet under instead.
With no obituary pinned to a church noticeboard
no wreathes of roses and no time and place to mourn.
It will be buried tonight in another dark corner of my mind
and I hope that this poem will now quietly lay down and die.
I tugged and sliced you from where you felt safe,
even though you’re unready to face the world.
But here you are.
Blinking, adjusting, squirming,
desperate to be constrained again.
Yet slowly awakening to the fact that
everything is now different.
Hesitantly I take the mewling poem,
clothe it in paper,then
place it in a cardboard crib.
I step back, wondering,
am I ready to be a father?
I posted my photos on Twitter,
I shared my photos on Facebook.
I uploaded my photos to Instagram,
I put them up on my blog.
I organised my photos on my USB stick,
I burnt my photos on to a CD.
I edited my photos on my phone,
I stored my photos in a folder on my PC.
But suppose one day these systems crashed,
Where for my memories would I look?
They would be nothing but vanishing pixels
When they should have been safe in a book.
The Wi-fi at home went down the other day,
Then all the phones crashed as well.
So me and the wife had to entertain ourselves,
It was complete and utter hell.
I asked the wife, “what can we do?
I feel like I’ve undergone electronic castration.”
She replied, “well there is one thing,
We could have a conversation.”
“Is that like Facebook?” I asked.
“Think of it like that if it helps, ” she said.
“But instead of typing,
We talk to each other instead.”
“You mean like I’m doing now,” I replied.
My wife nodded, “that’s a start,
But you’ll need to talk more,
To master conversational art.
Try asking me how my day went,
Or let’s talk about what’s for tea.
But you don’t have to text these questions,
All you need to do is speak to me.”
I felt odd, “I’ll wait for everything to work again,
It’s all very complicated, ” I said.
Then I’ll get my phone out,
And comment on your Facebook status instead.”
So the wife and I sat there all weekend,
Struck it seemed deaf and dumb.
Unable to communicate with each other,
Waiting for the Wi-fi to come back on.
Yes at last my Wi-fi is back, thank you for all your messages the blog was just on a technological hiatus, normal service is now resumed. 🙂
If there’s some water in the corner of my eye
As I say my so longs and goodbyes.
Don’t think that it’s for me that I cry
I’m only thinking of those left behind.
You know who you are, so long and thanks.
P.S. This is a poem about changing my job, my previous post about my blasphemous review has only increased my desire to write. I’m not going anywhere!
Where did those eight years go?
When did our time spent together seem to move at the speed of light?
Vanishing so quickly that the present rapidly becomes memory.
When did you grow so much?
So my back creaks and arms ache when I pick you up,
Remembering when I once lifted you with ease.
When did we start to like the same TV programs?
Laughing like drains at the Cartoon Network.
Yet I used to flee the room if you put on “In the Night Garden.”
When did you become such a sponge for knowledge?
Devouring books and enjoying historical stories.
Making me rack my brains at your questions before I resort to Google.
When did you become so graceful?
Twisting and pirouetting while watching Strictly,
While I with my leaden feet look on in awe.
I know where our eight years went.
They passed quickly because enjoyment always will.
Time never stands still when a father is with the daughter he loves.
The only pleasure I ever got from
my parent’s old conservatory,
was taking a lump hammer to its
dour walls. Demolishing them,
Bricks splinter as I
remember my hated music lessons
within conservatory walls.
I’d mangle scales, sending my sister
scrambling to turn the telly up.
Dust rises as I strike a blow
for all the times I was held hostage
by the rain. I would be there waiting,
my wellies willing the skies to clear. So I
could escape and lose myself in puddles.
Glass splinters as conservatory
windows fragment. I think back to
when I would press my face against them.
Ignoring my homework, I dreamed of
practicing daring stunts on my bike.
Silence. I stand among the rubble,
breathless but triumphant. Then I
dance on the debris enjoying its whimper
like crunch. I halt to pop my blisters, smiling
as my memories like their pain starts to fade
Quick story. I joined the Birmingham Stanza poetry group last month and this poem is the result of a workshop that was held there. The workshop gave each poet a room in a house and an emotion and we had to work them into a poem, my emotion was joy and my room the conservatory. Stanza is a great way to get to know poets in your area and expand your poetic powers click here to see if there is one in the UK near you, or if there isn’t see how to start your own.
Oh and I never really knocked down a conservatory, it’s still standing at my parents house.