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.
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I felt it was an insult that each new street was named after a different species of tree they chopped down a lasting dedication to rapid decimation of the ancient woodland and hedgerow their deaths were dealt so swiftly that the hawthorn berries didn’t even get time to bleed.
Now when I walk past Oak Avenue, Ash Drive & Beech Terrace each brimming with life I think of the bricks, mortar and glass I believe the woodland remains just in a different guise and the dedication isn’t an insult but a celebration of what came before that the trees that once thrived there are a solid foundation for new roots to form.
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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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of filter coffee and croissants warm and buttery lazily absorbing Saturday’s news through inked fingers and papercuts whilst audibly inhaling songs from the twentieth century we wear chunky scratching knits and chunkier cotton socks that fill well worn walking shoes with rusted suede uppers we fill noisy metal bottles with water filtered through plastic beads then tightly pack them into a roll away backpack awaiting adventure that beckons from paths littered with burnt leaves and forest floor detritus our casual meandering scored with the sound of mulching mud under rubber soles the scurry of squirrels and swaying branches memories made and recorded in 16:9 high definition then the return voyage home in time to prep a veritable feast but that’s a ritual, i’ll keep to myself.
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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.
It’s important to remember the same atoms that felt silent rapturous awe at the big bang stared with intense curiosity at the dawn of time that bathed in the liquid gold of countless stars embraced the purity of moons and appreciate the endlessly evolving elegance of the cosmos the same atoms that built and inspired the greatest minds and put words into quill, ink & pen the same atoms that are architects and demolishers are in all of us and everything.
We are all the planets and their chaos the stars and their fury the moons and their melancholy we are universal we are infinite we may feel different but really we are all the same atoms.