Tony Jolley

Rookie (17th June 1958 / England)

You Are Not. Are You Not? - Poem by Tony Jolley

Can’t control my basic being –
It’s all gotten away from me
As I went away from she
And both went away from we.
Seems I keep forgetting to breathe
Till something stirs and stretches
And yawns me away
From History’s ever-open jaw
And never-sated stomach.

Sometimes I sense it first
As a lump in my throat:
A living lump
With its legs wrapped around my memory
And arms up to the elbows in my emotions,
Not an Everest (too high / too sharp) ,
More a rounded how, a high, hemispherical hill
That extracts its heavy toll
For every hard-swallowed, upward step.

At others it seems my ‘Fill’ is full,
Full of great guttering gobs,
Strong silent sobs
Born in my gut
Contr-actions of my spirit:
Actions-contra our two-from-six bereavement.
A crushing caress, yes,
Yet a caress nevertheless.

How dare I breathe without you?
Why should I breathe without you?
How can I breathe without you?
How can I not?

You are here,
Yet you are not….
Are you not?

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Comments about You Are Not. Are You Not? by Tony Jolley

  • Fay Slimm (12/3/2008 12:50:00 AM)


    This is raw emotion Tony - and exposed until it is almost painful to read - the phrases are cut through with it and the reader is taken into it - - - you have the ability to draw the same ropes around the heart of any sincere reader and leave them as breathless as is the subject...... a good and emotive verse, so honestly penned it hurts..... hugs from Fay. (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Wednesday, June 29, 2005



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