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Knowing how, life’s waves break, unevenly,
Surging along the strand, churning, foaming,
The sea, from which we came, so long ago,
Our own cradle of life slowly draws back,
Preparing, arcing, before rushing forth again.

Whilst we, fickly humanity, such foolish pride,
Who actually thought, we owned the world,
Indulge in a final languid walk along the beach,
The once, life-giving-waves, cold and bitter,
Washing away our footprints and all we were.

Life, so inextricably linked with cruel death,
Fate, uncaring, unforgiving, turns on the tide,
Erasing all signs that we ever passed this way,
Only a palpable ache remains, reminding us,
We had it all, yet we are flesh: we had nothing!

When we are mostly gone, some will survive,
On average, younger, fitter, resistant to disease,
Walking sands upon which we once walked,
Wise enough to cherish the precious Earth,
Knowing how, life’s waves break, unevenly.
I see a volume of history upon the shelf,
Just repeating itself. Just repeating itself.

Recalling the infamous Pandemic; Spanish Flu!
Although, it never came from sunny Spain.
In 1918, a neutral country during the war,
The free Spanish reported the virus first.

It spread throughout Europe and America,
Then Asia, infecting half-a-billion people,
Killing fifty, maybe even a hundred million!
How many; nobody knows! Nobody knows.

The Pandemic has come again: it’s here!
Did we learn from history? Are we prepared?
No! No! No! Our reactions are way too slow!
Covid-19 is definitely running this final show.

Latter half of the Twentieth Century, felt soft!
We grew old, greedy, fat and complacent.
Mother nature decided, it’s time for a cull,
Earth wants her overdue rent, paid in full.

I see a volume of history upon the shelf,
Just repeating itself. Just repeating itself.

Paul M Chafer©
Paul M Chafer Oct 2019
Imagining you standing, watching the ocean,
Our bare feet pushing into the soft sand,
The setting sun warming our backs, pleasant,
A gentle breeze trifles with your wayward hair.

Waves rush in, foaming, churning, tickling,
Then pull away, sand shifting beneath us,
Losing our balance, ‘ah,’ we adjust, ‘yes,’
Seeing things differently, altered perspective.

We stroll along the strand, quite content,
Sun kissing the mountains, whilst to the east,
The impassive moon rises with stolen light,
You exclaim, ‘look, they share the same sky.’

I nod, knowingly, squeezing your fingers,
‘There’s a name for that,’ I say, ‘I forget though.’
‘They name everything these days,’ you reply,
‘But they know nothing, not really; just names.’

I sigh, happy with our friendship, so good,
Forged across the ocean, solid, dependable,
Wavelets erase our footsteps, yet we walk on,
Our past resting, but always with us: always.

You look at me and smile, tears in your eyes,
I try to brush them away, you clasp my hand,
‘No,’ you say, ‘I’m fine, please, just let them be,
The tears are part of who I am; I accept them.’

I know you are right, I understand now, I do,
You’ve shown how not to let go, how to hold,
I awaken on my side of the world, smiling,
Imagining you standing, watching the ocean.
A poem about friendship and mutual respect, written for Tonya Riddle, finally, after almost a year of trying to script a poem of 21st century connections over the ocean between two people who have never met, and maybe, never shall meet. After speaking with Tonya, the essence of how she feels about her two lost boys, is present within metaphor. Thank you, Tonya, for the inspiration and permission to publish.
Paul M Chafer Sep 2019
Ah, beautiful girl,
Lovely Lorraine,
I can see you now,
Your long brown hair,
Heart shaped face,
With a smile to share.

So young and fresh,
We were just kids, you and I,
Laughter came easy to us then,
As did the kisses and squeezes.

The scent of you lingers still,
Peachy soap on pale skin,
Cool Beechnut breath,
Is that a hint of apples?
Maybe from your hair,
Your long, brown hair.

You had a serious look in your eyes,
When we snuggled up tight,
Clinging together against the cold,
A look I could not fully interpret,
I get you now, though,
I get you now, Lorraine.

Too late now, though,
All these years later,
My very first love,
Taken away so young,
With distance between us,
Did you ever think of me?

Our kisses from another age,
Escaping on the edge of memories,
Emerging in a new century,
I can see you now,
Lovely Lorraine,
Ah, beautiful girl.
For Lorraine Woodward, a kissing-friend from school, taken from us by Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Goodbye Lorraine: you were loved.
Paul M Chafer Sep 2019
I think,
I know who I am.
Do you know who I am?
Or maybe I don’t; after all.

It’s true; I don’t know who I am anymore!
What I do know, is that I try for sincerity,
Try to match ‘your’ forthright honesty,
While disguising how lost I have become,
Which is not an easy task to set oneself.

Do you sense my damaged spirit?
Well, my heart was lost long ago,
I fixed it, though! At least, I tried.
Yeah, sure, it’s not perfect: but what is?
Understand, those wounds went deep,
That’s the trouble with loving, giving,
Opening up, before the fated falling.
Even with distance, a virtual world away,
Always the landing, the dreaded crash,
The scattered pieces of shattered affection,
Embarrassing detritus of human emotion,
Becoming flotsam on a soughing breeze.
The confetti of feelings; unrecognisable.
A whole person, just floating away,
Left to wander, bereft, unwanted,
Loved no more, until inside; something dies,
Desire, crushed into nothingness: dead.

Survivable, though, oh yes, never the end,
Love is unique, a true, ******* phoenix,
Preening gaudy feathers, calling, calling,
Forgetting the pain, the yearning,
As it rises, seeking, wanting, needing,
Searching for that elusive phenomena,
After all, it’s more than just attention,
Surely, way more than that, surely!
If we’re honest, we all need to be loved,
What is life without ever caring?
A friendship devoid of true sharing?
Just existence, shadows and dust.

I do know who we are; even what we are,
As do you, if you search deep inside,
Or, maybe I don’t, after all,
Do you know who I am?
I know who I am,
I think.
Written for a friend
Paul M Chafer Jul 2017
Love addicts,
High from a single touch,
Trembling from a single kiss,
Sighing for what might be
Could be, and should be,
Hooked into our own groove,
For I am your drug,
And you, sweet woman,
You are totally mine,
As we lust for a fix,
Lost within a vertiginous miasma,
Reeling from a passion that sates,
So blissfully satisfying, and yet,
Also leaves us wanting more,
So much more that we ache,
Cast adrift upon an ocean,
One previously unknown,
The swells heaving,
The currents swirling,
Tides of wanton desire,
Surf crashing over us poor,
Love addicts.

©Paul M Chafer 2017
Paul M Chafer Jul 2017
While I have memories,
While I can still capture the image
Of your serene, beautiful face,
Just a fleeting glimpse will do,
The sun, a prisoner in your hair,
Mischief rioting in your eyes,
Tenderness teasing your smile,
You shall live in my heart,
Within in the hearts of many,
Always, my darling, always,
While I have memories.

©Paul M Chafer 2017
For Tonya.
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