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Fair Winds

I

The scattered clouds are high and white,
a younger sun comes breaking through.
It feels like home; the breeze reminds
of all the things I didn't do.

I used to think that life was mine,
a climbing kite in search of flight,
and all I needed was the time
to find a path, to gain the heights.

But time was such a spilling thing,
and soon the years were buried deep
beneath the grinding dross we churn;
and now I wonder: why this need

to find that vital thing I seek?
A frantic spaniel sniffing wild
I hunt the hedgerows of a dream,
the stored detritus of a life?

It might be just a word or glimpse
a face across the railway track
in Singer station years ago;
a turning missed and no way back;

or name I blanked but can't forget,
that draws me like a precious stone
imagined in a childhood book,
now lost amongst the undergrowth.

Or maybe I'm just looking for
a clue that lights the road to grace,
or better still a painless way
to crumble into usefulness.

II

Our journey seems so very vast
and yet we've hardly moved at all,
with every answer mere mirage;
that's maybe how it always was.

Though all that seethes within these hearts,
and seems impossible to say,
was maybe never meant for words;
some truths will always go astray.

It's true I never gave enough
or dared enough when fate came through.
I bolted from that blazing love
when we were ripe in swarming June,

when passion was a wilder force;
but out of sync and fluster struck,
I never dreamt the chance might come
to hold the willing hand I spurned.

And now these wasteful hours and years
spent chipping at the ice of self,
or shoring up the flooding walls,
or recollecting moments fled:

III

I'm kneeling down by Africa
with all the awe of innocence
when atlases were vivid things
with spreads of red where blood was shed.

They conjured worlds that used to be;
my father's father on his knees,
we travelled down the tracks and streams,
across the seas and into dreams

and glory drenched in older wrongs.
A 'better world' and all that jazz
soon sprung from that awakening,
but not a sliver came to pass.

Those transformations we foresaw
were only tiny waves on sand,
just nibbling at some dark expanse;
and even nibbling's much too grand.

IV

I watch a stranger in his car,
enclosed within his own cocoon;
a universe inside his head:
his sparks of spring, his waning moon.

He's in a tale that writes itself,
a simple player with a role,
directed by some cunning force,
whose goals he seems obliged to own.

V

But pressing matters press right in:
my hair's a mess and growing thin;
the fence we built is falling down,
and thirsty cows are breaking out.

Yet all my thoughts are on a fox
I shot across a thick green field.
it caught my eye before it dropped
and held its gaze there fifty years.

I didn't think of fairness then:
I never fought and never bled.
Now every way I turn I'm caught,
for all I've done and all I've not.


(adapted from A Dream Reflects)


11 03 21
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4/11/2021 6:38:43 PM # 1.0.0.559