No blue plaque here but in that house in that room I was conceived. In the same house in the same room then I was born.
First child Only child Undistinguished house undistinguished room undistinguished birth.
But blessed with the Conquering Blood and Fire General’s name. It had to be that way. Aren’t all births distinguished only by their unglamorous spectacle?
Not something I asked for nor desired. No regrets but there were Consequences. Oh, yes. Eighty years of consequences. My history My responsibility My river’s ride through childhood rapids to maturity’s turmoil and turbulence. Becalmed now in dispiriting dotage its stillnesses its infirmity and nostalgia.
What follows eventually as I merge with the looming ocean waiting to receive me?
Memories fade for me Yet I know some continuity remains where these same images have been handed on to those loved ones who will remember.
But now in moments of tranquility my responsibility for my past presses hard until those times when my love surges to outweigh my guilt and again for good or ill my scarred soul returns to its past and wonders.
… and time treads on as I stare at the window the nets shielding its secrets. Now just as they did then So long ago.
Photographs … WHB – Yorkshire (2016) and Sussex (2009), UK
The crisp crunch of my footsteps as I crossed that frosty field Confirmed to me the joy that winter brings; The frail but wondrous sunlight burning through the morning mist Affirmed a world of wonder in all things.
It brought to me a memory of those long days of my youth, When all was young and all life was tomorrow, When time and love and right and wrong were not things I considered, Just the lasting joy which Nature can bestow.
Tomorrow was a world away from the life that I live now; No anguish that my world might cease to be Before I’d felt and savoured all that life can have to offer, Before the sun sets on that ancient tree.
Despite my knowledge of the pain that’s in the world around me, Bleak Nature seeks to calm its shifting shadows, The seasons, sun, the starlight, still remain to bring us hope, That vital spark from which renewed life flows.
With bared feet and sadness in my soul I walk in the shallows the waves rippling to my bare feet I follow the ribs of the sand to their end in the swell of the next wave and by their disappearance I recognise the promise of their continuation for the world is in flux a life beginning as another ends memory fading at first soon settles into expectation an affirmation as the embers of all that cease to be are carried forward in the seeds of a future hope
I remember the 1/- that slash-dash sign a favourite of mine time gone every shop had one but time passed I know it breathed its last 50 years ago
Yes the shilling that was two tanners or a bob to me and those as money comes and goes 5p to you now twelve copper coppers hence one dozen pence twenty to the sixties pound But then deemed unsound and all became continent bound until sad sight they turned out the tills overnight onto and into counters joined the farthings and the thrupenny bits and called it quits the death of old-time dough sad to see them go Gone to memory’s locker to tomorrow’s antiques roadshow