Out of Time

Old foe, lost lover:
are you lonely, do you weep?
Try as I might to leave you,
with all your time-worn aliases,
we are still other-bound and
will not come unchained.

Master and slave, villain and victim,
peddler of opposites
your face appears in every mirror,
photos speak an inescapable truth.

From where you stand, refusing stillness,
everything abandons you, the solitary
runner pursing an unreachable horizon
and I wonder whether you are ever lonely,
to be ever doomed to your path.

So we are both trapped. (Are we?)
When do you sleep? Where?
Who is waiting for you?
What colour are your tears?

I have more questions for you
But I fear we are out of time.

(11 & 22 February 2015)

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Salt Memories (17 December*)

The smell of salt: twice.
First, the ocean bending itself
Against seaweed-encrusted rocks.
Then the crispy chips in their
Corrugated cardboard container.
Sauce-smothered, they slowly turned
Mushy as I made my way bite by bite
To the bottom of the endless box
That had to end, disappointingly.
I remember staring out across the
Infinite horizon,
Past tanning beach-goers
Past yachts and majestic liners,
I wondered how far it went.
When I was younger, it seemed to mark
The world’s edge:
Everything dropped away out of sight
Falling into the abyss.
Only I had the salty smell,
The tingle against my lips and
Seagulls, echoing
Their bitter, selfish cries.

The first of two pieces I wrote as quick-writes, alongside my students, based on memoir writing. We started by creating a series of “I remember” statements. This is one I actually wrote this as prose then remade it into poetry; the second I wrote as a poem.