Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

Departure Lounge Diva - Poem by Tony Jolley

“DIVA”
Declared the Darling’s pink Tee-shirt, departing.

“SO MUCH TO DO”
It announced, emphatically, arriving.
[Yet thankfully without the obligatory adult addendum of:
‘So Little Time’]

Unbidden, the plea surfaced:
‘Pray God she has the time –
But let it be for the being:
Let not the daily doing crowd to cloud
The long view from a young life’.

Then I allowed myself a little rumination, reflection.
As a child I was, on all accounts,
A whirling dervish of doing
[Except when there was no doing to be done]
and having nothing to do was the end of the world.
Yet now, au contraire,
Having to do nothing seems a luxury locked away at the world’s end.
Surely, between these polarised positions
There must have been some equatorial equilibrium –
A day when the doing beautifully balanced the being…
…But when?
When was that?
What year?
What date?
And how did I not see it and protect it, preserve it?
How did I fail to feel the see-saw’s slow swing away from me?

No lament.
No blame.
No recrimination
No pain…
Just a not-quite so-academic-a-question
From a not-quite-so-career-peaked-academician
Who tips his own mortar board today
To the tender, timely teachers who taught him lately
That between his all-too-short coming and going
He is a human being not doing.

So may the Diva grow.
So may the Diva know.

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 29, 2005



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