We have our exits and our entrances.
It has been said before.
But in the lifelong scheme of things
The next farewell will likely be our last.
The Earth itself will one day die
And return unto its frozen, lifeless state.
A finality that is perhaps not too far off.
Without a sigh, without a whimper
Even without an ultimate warning blast.
We made our entrance, enjoyed our stay,
Played our part in the performance.
And soon it will be time to say goodbye.
Farewell, adieu, exit left or right.
But leave the stage. Just go!
I awoke this morning and thought that I was dead.
Not a sound could be heard; not a breath of air
Could be felt. “So this is how it ends” I thought
“Not with a bang, not with a whimper,
But with a dreadful solemn silence;
With a ghastly breathless stillness”.
And then I replaced the devices in my ear,
And conducted my matutinal ablutions,
And was restored to life. Prepared to face
Another dull, disturbing, Covid-driven day.
I held her hands.
I gazed into
and willed her strength.
The merest flutter
of her tremulous
suggested she had
Her eyes, though open,
Yet I knew
we had a meeting
of the souls.
“Stay with us,” I willed.
“Stay with us;
we are not ready
to let you
Was there an echo
from her fingers?
Or was it wish
And did a smile
linger on those
Unlikely. . .
She was gone.
There they lie;
spread around me
a myriad shining fragments
of the gift she had brought me.
Shards of glass
each a reflection of a broken promise;
a gift procured but withheld.
And all that I can do
is to survey those shattered remnants
of unrequited dreams,
and replay them on an endless
reel of soundless, aimless,
that ***** my heart
as those metaphorical shards
might have pricked my fingers.
What is left to me now
but to weep?
Poetry is like
the stars one cannot see
in the daytime.
It is a sense of fright
in the night.
It is metrical
but does not need to be
It is rhythmic,
but does not
need to rhyme.
It is knowledge
that precedes sentience
but lags behind
It is fuelled
and ****** by
It is ambiguity;
it is obscurity;
it is enigma.
An updated, modified version of the poem original published as The Mystery of Poetry.
I heard a voice within my head;
its tones sweetly mellifluous.
It filled me with such melancholy
as rendered speech superfluous.
Thus does my mind becalm my mood.
The angry prejudice disperses
all that lies misunderstood
and lets my brain construct its verses.
I am no penitent.
I sometime feel
that in a previous life
I may have been Titivulus,
the incredible Michael Ayrton’s
magnificent verbiage collector.
. . . the little devil.