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What are the lessons that we learn from life?
Trusting some hope beyond frail knowledge shamed,
Into an aether’s voices thinly framed,
Are doubts released to run with sharpened knife.
Cold fear and warm bravado need attire,
Soft cloaked in silences of mind and sleep,
Their fragile fibres woven into sheep,
Penned and protected by the shepherd’s fire.
Here are no absolutes, no black and white,
Exceptions there are none but invoiced dreams,
Unpaid and dusty sorrows without means,
Until an end we must endure the fight:
We learn that love and life are cruel things,
So full of grief and random reckonings.
With that fond darkness overwhelmed,
Witness a dawn become a day,
And from remembered sleep, fold back
All frail unreason to its box,
Blend dreams to some blind ambition
(Noting meanwhile futility
In its customary disguise
Lurking in your shadow) and thus
Are all ships launched, sails set, and helmed
Towards soft shores long abandoned
By logic’s compass, far away.
Jack Radbourne Dec 2019
Distantly it laughs with iron wheels
That train Your train That train Your train
Tells me of your progress in sound
Echoing from our past and gone
Rattling beyond horizons
And how it laughs with iron wheels
That train Your train That train Your train
Is done with me, is laughing still
In other’s lives, in other’s years.
Jack Radbourne Dec 2019
Each has a self, within a mind,
a mass of energies centred
in a volume embraced by bone,
a kernel that is blood and brain,
holding our thoughts, storing our past.

Being tissue, imperfectly
miraculous, we are in time
to fail, and in failing prove a
faith or be no more as known now.
Locked away inside, our thoughts

unbalanced may mutate to pain,
fret to be freed or grow immense,
bulking with obsession waking
day and sleepless night, a burden
taking its toll of quietude.

But are these thoughts so separate,
each from the other shell and will?
Does natural law decline to share
between our minds these sparks of fire
unless quelled into clumsy speech,

or is translation, tongue or touch
our fragile, vital fraying bond?
Jack Radbourne Dec 2019
Read the instructions carefully:
Begin at one, go on to two,
Although, if logic’s not your thing,
Just tear the rule book into shreds
And visualise perfection now
Using the ideas of ideas

Beyond mortality and death,
Build foundations of cotton wool
Clouds as white as nothing known here,
Blend with new brightness,
Wipe clear shades of uncertainty
Away into whatever time

Becomes in this new place and then
Find things to occupy your time:
Balance pale porcelain cherubs
High and thread cold stars in millions
Above them. Harp with purest notes
If you are musical, if not,

Give oxygen to souls in need,
And shelter on this white mountain
Those bewildered victims starting
Without choice to spend infinity
Themselves believing nothing more
Than self and suffering.
Jack Radbourne Aug 2019
what they said to do
she said to do
he said to do
wasn’t what you did at all
it may not have been
what you wanted or
even the thing they wanted
from you and beyond
that believe or know
or think it so in truth
time will say this or that
happened and the eventual
consequences
were that it worked out
just fine for someone
and was it you or was it them?
or was it something beyond
that saying unseen only
starting now to work out
fine for everyone?
Jack Radbourne Jul 2019
in its canter you see the horse
express her long evolution
sundering time with her thin hooves
throwing dust and turning a world
from that far past where distance was
enough to save her herd and skin
from everything immediate

so may lives trample on their dead
learning by living on to die
differently in cold tomorrows
winning over weakness and still
vulnerable but spared for now
no superfluity of form
claims here how this world shaped them so
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