Memories

Hazy memories out of focus, raindrop smeared,
inhabited, revisited, altered by each access;
or a shock in time, seen once, new-needle fresh,
sparked by reverie or random intervention.

Is there authenticity; utility; a future place:

For fragile faded snapshot childhood moments?
Or chord sequences, embedded as identity emerged?
Or initiations, each reeling fumbling vivid first?
Or the perception that nothing’s out of reach?

Or infertile eggs, futile seeds of unresolved potential?
Or familiar old ideas that outlived their time?
Or curious reminders of turns not taken,
forks not followed, on an under-weighted path:

A shaky frame of hollow counter-facts?

Are they touchstones for family, kin and partners,
sharing lives and blood and blending DNA?
For our children who’ve grown wilful, standalone?
For the other vital people who informed each stage?

I knew many who now lie cold, bleached pale –
and few other threads have not been snapped
or lost in spreading time and welling tides of life,
links separated by exigency and not renewed –

And I ask, where are they now? And how?

While outside, above, windsped, hastened to oblivion,
sunlight’s shadow flits across the tower:
a fragment or a harbinger? Of a deeper storm,
lowering, looming, racking, darkening….

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Pebbles

Steps on a journey, creating points of pressure passing through
sediment and silt or vulcan fire and shifting plates; events
condensed to pebbles in a flow – not drops caught in the air,
nor crystals in a bed; labelled with identity, pocketed
or panniered as dumb reminders, random scraps,
collected fragments of dry fallout from life’s accidents;
weights to ballast, or to slow progress, or to cast aside:
to trail behind, spill randomly, or pile and heap,
or lay in patterns (circles / spirals / chequered squares);

They had been glaciered mountains, then tumbled
boulders and frost-hammered rocks, now small-ground
mill-grist smothering in settling flakes of drifting chaff:

Water-polished smooth stones, oval-round
and ragged flints, sharp and freshly scraped
and sandstone lumps, crumbling down to dust
and slate sliced thin in quarrying, mournful grey
and darker than the shining speckled granite cores
and mixed-in dull lead musket shot, long spent
and shards of coloured glass, sanded rubbed and worn
and broken seashells, once shelter for forgotten
fluid bi-valve lives, lived in salt along a littoral;

All solid objects linked to hazy memories,
lightly touched, felt heavily and of uncertain worth –
singly, or assembled, or amassed in grams and pounds.