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Tag: Past

At the grave of James Hogg, The Ettrick Shepherd

Silent stone word carved
By church and heath
Says so little
Of the soul that lies
Under turf
And sky
What spark was lit
From that mortal frame
And raised
From lowly shepherd
So divine a voice
In this lonely place?

I feel a debt
Of thankfulness
And humility
To this kindred spirit
Whose majesty I feel
Reaching out
As I stand
Before the
Silent stone word carved

19/09/1998

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Stooped Raincoat II

I sit here in my room and look out across the street
There is a light on in someone’s room
Whose I’ll never know, someone I know I will never meet
I’m just a stooped raincoat in the gloom

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly on those out there who know
Know what it means to be tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I walk in the park watching prams pulling mothers
Talking to no-one, letting their children play
Passing me by, going back to their lovers
Not seeing a stooped raincoat in their way

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly on anyone out there who loves
Loves all those who are tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I recall the one I love, how her going hurt me so
Standing there, an old suitcase in her hand
She told me she had to leave, had to go
She couldn’t love a stooped raincoat so bland

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly down on the one whose leaving hurt me so
So much it left me tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I stand alone in the city square and look round
There’s nothing here except the city lights
Nothing here for me in this cold, hard town
For a lost stooped raincoat in the night

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly down on all those lonely people here
Here where we live so tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

I turn round and head back to my lifeless room
The light is off now there across the street
It doesn’t matter anyway, let my pain resume
For me, a stooped raincoat incomplete

Star shine
Shine brightly
Brightly down on the life I leave behind
Behind me so tired and alone
Alone without anyone
Anyone to love

05/03/2003

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For You

The radio plays
Gently in the background
Of my life.
The light throws dim shadows
Onto the dreary walls
Of my room.
It is so cold here now
Without you.
You have left an emptiness
That nothing fills.
An icy silence
Of nothing heard
Except my breathing
Harsh and halting.
The hours are long,
Time creeps past.
The hands of the clock
On the wall
Are resistant
To my will,
They are persistent
In their motionlessness.
I fill my life with boredom
And remembrances.
I warm my spiritless heart
With tales of happier days
And wait in frighted hope.
For you.

12/07/1990

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She sits there opposite me

She sits there opposite me
In that old chair of hers
Knitting those strange shapes she made
Toys, animals, useful things
So many – I have some still
In some forgotten corner of my life

She sits there opposite me
Wrapped against the cold
Her breathing sometimes shallow
Sometimes laboured, sometimes still
So far, so very far
From my youth remembered time

She sits there opposite me
So frail and grey and worn
Her vibrant life reduced, debased, displaced
By depression, despair and pain
And saddened we
Sit with her and we cry

She sits no longer where
So staunchly once she did
Her one warm chair now empty stands
Soundless like a vault
And poorer now we live
With remembrance of a once great life

29/11/2009

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I Found A Photograph

I found a photograph the other day
Of me in younger clothes
Squirreled away buried in battered cardboard cave
Dingy, dusty, damaged,
Dumped in haste behind old books
In a long forgotten corner
Of an aged loft
Where all my other junk
Of long past lives
Lies forlorn, discarded
And there I saw
The well remembered outline of my youth
The thirsty eyes
Full of hope
And love
And innocence
The widely smiling mouth
Whose wisdomed words
Like golden oration spewed forth
Unfettered by latter doubts
But heeded only by unheeding night
Those ears so often catching
Sounds of joy
And laughter
And pain
And longing
The shoulders broad like Atlas
Yet tender
Refuge for tormented souls
The arms full ardour
But loveless left
The hands so willing
But always clumsy
Tripping over words
And tasks
And life
And I in longing know
That this is how I want to be
And not this deserted frame
That I have now become
Oh the years have turned
And I have turned
Into dust and yearning and nought
Tumbling to my inexorable end
Of dust and dull oblivion

10/02/2017

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A walk along a river bank

Through the chill mist comes the honk of lonely goose
From an island over in the stream
Somewhere out of view
In the grey light of early day

In the field cattle stand
Lowing, guiding the days bright entrance
Chewing cud and grass
Viewing world with watchful eye

From nowhere the wheezing whoosh of wings
Tells us of swans arising
On tall columns of milk frothed air

Ahead on dewy bank
A heron statued stands
A grey sentry to our approach
Along path
Sided sometimes by sloes
In their season

Distant comes the whispering
Watery sound of weir
And mill and stream
And the church bell tolling
This hour of dawn

At the gate in the corner we turn
And homeward head
To a world more frantic
Than this timeless place

22/04/1998

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The shadows that we cast – Three poems in one

The shadows that we cast
On life
Are transient fleeting
Ghosts of what might have been
And then they change
To what we have become

The shadows that we cast
Dance on the background
Of reality
And dim and fade and flit
As do our beings
In the universe

The shadows that we cast
Reflect how we are viewed
By existence
And when they cease
In the light of a new dawn
So do we

18/09/1998

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What has passed

The leaves are turning now
Away back home
Nights are drawing in
Wood fires lit
Against late evening cool
Mists in early noon
Rolling over stubbled fields
From river turgid, slow
With a thousand remembrances
Yet here I am
Tied to the past
With pale recollections
To keep me sound
In this strange land
Of heat and dust and toil
KeptĀ  in motion
By unresolved yearnings
To return
To what I was

05/09/2009

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