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Paul Hansford Oct 23
There are journeys from which for all practical purposes
it is not possible to arrive anywhere
except perhaps, after considerable stress,
the place where you started from.
The value of such journeys is not related
to their length, nor even to their difficulty,
though they can be very long and extraordinarily difficult.
It lie rather in the fact of having set out
in the hopeless hope of discovering
(we can't all be Columbus, but we can try)
and most of all in what we find on the way,
even if it is on the way to nowhere.
Paul Hansford Oct 23
Shall these trees stand forever?
and the fields,
brown, green, gold, according to the season,
shall they remain?

But the hills,
the hills,
they shall be there.
No not even those.
What then shall stay?
Their having been is what shall be left.

And when you are gone,
and I am no longer here,
we too shall have been,
and nothing can be quite the same again.
The title does not mean that the future will be perfect - it is an unusual tense, speaking of a future where what we know now will not exist.  It was a long time before I realised "we too shall have been" could sound like "we two shall have been," but that was not my intention, and it would suggest a different story.
Paul Hansford Oct 21
Free spirit, you were never really "my" child,
though it pleased me to think of you so.
Only for a time you allowed me
to be familiar with you, share some of your life,
some of your feelings.
Now it is time for you to leave,
and I must not regret your going, although I love you,
not regret the letting go, because I love you.
Then the part of you that once, long ago,
imperceptibly grew inside my heart will stay forever,
and you can always be,
in any sense that you ever were,
Paul Hansford Oct 21
There was so much more
     that we could have said and done,
          but we said goodbye.
This is not a haiku, though it does have 5, 7, 5 syllables, because it doesn't relate to nature or any season. It has the same syllables, but is more correctly a senryu, related to human nature.
Paul Hansford Oct 21
Just as when looking into the sun
I am dazzled by pure light, which is invisible,
and I only see what is lit by the paler reflections of its rays -
or when my mind, refusing to hear a perfect silence,
creates its own thundering echo of that silence,
so that I may more nearly understand the incomprehensible -
your absence also is absolute, and leaves
a void in me I cannot come to terms with
until it is filled by a memory.
A body on the line at Basingstoke
has caused an inconvenient delay.
(Unless it’s just a rather tasteless joke
- a body on the line at Basingstoke?)
What pain could make an ordinary bloke
do himself in? It’s just another day.
A body on the line at Basingstoke
has caused an inconvenient delay.
see also the original version of Victims.
Paul Hansford Sep 23
Would it be possible for me to feel friendship
for one I had never seen,
except in a blurred photo?
one whose voice I had never heard,
not even a phone-call,
not even a recording?

Would it be possible for me to love
one who had been a true friend,
who used to say she loved me,
but now felt nothing for me
but bitterness and anger?

Would it be possible for me to have confidence
in one who didn't write to me any more,
who would never read
what I had written?
who never let me read
what she had written?

Would it be possible for me to trust again
one who had told me very firmly
that she never lied,
but later admitted
without shame
that she had deceived me,
broken that trust,
almost as if she were proud of it?

Would it be possible for me to understand
how she could feel as she did,
when she refused to tell me?

Would it be possible for me to understand
if she did tell me?

The answers are

But which answer
might go with which question
I have no way of knowing.
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