a dispassionate mound of glaucous ash the warmth lost ready to die out at any moment
a scattering of embers the reminder of warmth we shared when flames flickered in frivolity kissing and caressing kindling and coal when white,gold and ochre danced as strong as they could for as long as they could to the gentle chaotic rhythm of crackling shades of silver in the hearth silently whispering Live Life Like The Fire.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem and are having a great day.
remember that time you had fun watching the fireworks fly rivers of light flowing across the sky whilst a tower of kindling burned nearby well aware the scent would wrap around your clothes inhaling the ashen smoke through a crimpled nose sipping hot chocolate with friends by your side watching people queue to gorge on something fried those were great times and the photos we captured show sincere elation like the one that caught you laughing when someone shrieked at the shrill of a rocket in ascent an excitable reaction that you’ll never forget and the time you wrote expletives with a sparkler in the air and people were frowning and you didn’t care but now you’ve joined a group on Facebook whose culture is to cancel and signal their virtue I know this is a display and I’m really sorry for you that you’d rather be passive and see the world in grey and beige than admire the spectrum free of echoed rage banning the possibility of fun when you’ve already flew close to the sun and enjoyed the inferno on your face is a bit of a hypocritical disgrace.
It was you who once told me the reason why fireworks will always be fun and bonfires welcome is what they represent the overthrow of control by those who have been oppressed so rather than call for a blanket ban add some fuel to the fire and inhale the memories of fun washed in smoke.
Thanks for taking the time to read this poem inspired by the rise of cancel culture and hypocrisy.
In my younger years i was always afraid of falling down but fear has been replaced with a potent intoxicating euphoria when this planetary mass of mine descends with thunderous precision or occasional feather-light bedlam when cloth & skin & flesh encounter earth i revel in the writhing of reverting to verticality safe in the knowledge that any bloomed bruises or scratched skin will heal but i’ll still wear them crystalline merits of resilience because the euphoria of falling is fleeting it’s the rising up i always remember.
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I was 11 years old buying the Sun on behalf of my Dad anticipating 50p worth of sports mixture with the change
a boy i recognised my sister’s age 7 years old trying to buy 20 Silk Cut and 2 litres Cider on behalf of his Dad struggling under the weight of expectation
a man 40-ish years old trying to provide for his family of 6 a newsagent eager to please his patrons to be welcomed into the arms of the community his journey long from Bangladesh to Britain via marriage and military service looking a blend of bemusement and sadness at the boy trying to buy cigarettes and alcohol who he turns away from his counter
a man 50-ish years old reeking of addiction to tabs and cheap booze storming the shop firing slurred slow deliberate insults and asking “do you know who i am“ irked by the response of “yes a thug and a bad father, we dont sell alcoholand tobacco to children“ it was then I witnessed racism first hand shock absorbed in my young brain stood like a hostage the tirade continued the threat of a firebomb to the newsagent and his family the smell eventually leaving when he couldn’t achieve his demands
me, a boy of 11 buying the Sun and 50p worth of sports mixture with the change apologising for someone else’s actions that I didn’t understand receiving a wink and a sad smile I ran home to deliver the newspaper and the news of what happened to my Dad
My Dad then in his mid-30’s a butcher by trade the sight of violence and blood known to him sat stoically on the sofa listening to my recap of events crinkling the pages between fingers stained with ink of yesterday’s news providing words of wisdom “be kind to those who deserve your kindness scum always rises, but it always ends up skimmed and discarded, remember that, learn how to recognise and skim out hatred and you’ll be alright“ followed by “can I have a couple of sports mixture“ I gave him the bag.
This poem is based on a shocking morning trip to the Newsagent just around the corner from our house.
Most of the time there was a real togetherness in our council estate, but on rare occasions, a sinister underbelly came to the fore.
Thanks for reading, I’d love to know your thoughts,
Taking a carefree stroll through an inviting burrow of oak, ash, cedar, elm and yew I allow myself to talk to the trees and travel through time the history stored in trunks and roots is phenomenal whispered secrets shared by the world filtered through canopies of bronze, emeralds and golds could fill all the libraries in all the world woodland sentinels silently observing passers-by witnessing the same litany of mistakes made by multiple generations the main one being that your present is already your past and the future is now.
This is something I’ve learned by talking to trees while travelling through time.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this poem, inspired by wandering in the woods and listening. I’d love to know your thoughts.
The barley shook it’s head in disdain at the nonchalant breeze it’s golden hue dulled by the constant back and forth vibrant only days ago it now looks antiquated a stoop has formed and the barley struggles to stand tall so it allows itself to be cradled submitting to the inevitability of losing it’s glorious shimmering halo but the barley doesn’t despair because it knows it will return shining brighter than before under cornflower and magenta skies what started as seed will return to seed nature is endless.
It’s easy to get lost in the romance of Paris in the mystique of Paris you can taste it the aroma of sweet spice and lingering vanilla tobacco you can hear it seductively whispering notes of music and conversations from streetside cafes you can see it in the architecture both masculine and feminine lustily snapped by tourists as evidence that for a brief interlude they were part of the city of love but I’ll never be that naive because Paris will always be a den of wolves in designer clothing to me.
Aged 8 dawdling feet struggling on a cobbled urban jungle a metre behind my parents my protectors when the city tried to tear me away a candy-striped shirt greying white trousers that matched his hair the strength of his rancid breath more powerful than his tanned arms silent screams searing my lungs survival instincts kicked in a case of fight then flight catching up with my father fury igniting his face powering his legs as he tried to chase the man down like a lion whose pride had been attacked but wolves are cowards and hide until it’s safe to attack again.
A couple of life lessons learned. Aged 8. Early for some Too late for others.
Paris is only romantic in print. You only see what they want you to see.
Wolves don’t scare me. Face your fears. Cowards retreat in the face of confrontation.