Lost Dreams

Burne-Jones … ‘Reclining Woman’

LOST DREAMS

There ought to be a better way of living
To find catharsis in these twilight years,
But I am no misanthrope,
My dreams can give me hope
And help to wipe away my tensions and my tears.

So let me lead you now into my dreamworld,
A land where vanished wishes can come true.
Where life and love and pleasure,
And all those things we treasure,
Will follow from our final rendezvous.

A land where angels sing glad songs of romance,
Where the bells remember chimes they’d long forgot;
Where they now forever ring,
And with those angels sing,
And we at last are happy with our lot.

For my frequent dream is one of youth recurring;
A new start in life to live it once again.
To eliminate the stress,
To start again afresh,
And live my life devoid of stifling pain.

But the place where dreams are stored is fast receding,
A library of books once felt and read.
Now they will never come to life
Before they meet the pruning knife,
And all those thoughts they bred remain unsaid.

Burne-Jones … The Briar Rose – detail

“YOU HAVE A VISITOR”

Winter Trees 1 – WHB … Pen – 1988

YOU HAVE A VISITOR

“You have a visitor”

 “… Have I ? …”

 “Hello!  How are you?”

Me?
To see me.
Who?
I know him . . .
Not …? … I think so
You?
Who are you?
Do I know you?
Should I know you?

“… Oh … Yes … Hello! …” 

Familiar …
and he knows
who I am.
 … Who I am
… Who am I?

‘I’m not at home, you know.’

Not at my home.
In a Home
On my own.
At home.

“Are you happy here?’

I used to know,
I think,
what happiness was …
Now? …
It’s not important
… Is it?

“ … Yes …”

Nod …
Shake my head.  

“Do they feed you well?”

Do they?
Sometimes …
I think

“… Yes …”

“Isn’t the weather lovely?”

I like the sun.
When it shines.
… and the rain.
… Not the wind. 

“… Windy …
It’s very windy …”

“Do you sit outside sometimes?”

I think so.
I don’t know
It’s nice.

 “Yes . It is very windy”

“ … The leaves are moving …”

It’s not my day
It was my day
…  Once.
It’s not my day.
Yesterday was my day.
…  Once.
 When I was a child.
But I am a child.
Aren’t I?

“Do they provide entertainment for you?”

“… Sometimes …”

‘Are they looking after you?’

They help me.
She helps me
Who is she?
She wants to help me.
I don’t want help
But I need help
Don’t I?

When I’m wet
My chair’s wet
I need help
Take me away.
Let me be
Help me

“… Oh, Yes …
… The leaves are moving …”

“Oh, look, it’s tea time”

My time
They’ll help me eat
Something else to do.
… To do something
To be me…

But not here.
I’m all right here
I’m happy here
… Am I?
For now …  Yes

 “… Is it ?…
… I do like tea …”

“… When can I go home?…”

“You are at home

 “. . . Am I? …”

 “I’ll come again  …  soon”

 “… Thank you”

#     #     #

 Perhaps next week?

 We are not dead
Neither are we alive

Only react
Never initiate
Only react

 We …
mechanisms,
contraptions

Feel
But
No sense –
That’s nonsense

Only Pain brings relief
from not being alive

#     #     # 

Winter Trees 2 – WHB … ink – 1988

The above is a recounting, to the best of my memory, of the conversation during a visit I paid a few years ago now, to a dear old friend who had, for several months, been living in a nursing home.

On Growing Old

‘Father William’ . . . Pen & Wash: WHB

The magic has gone,
The shine has been dulled;
All’s not the same
Now life’s ardour has stilled.


Where once each day sparkled
With glamour and promise,
Now the vision is smeared,
A glazed image of bliss.


Yet there are so many gifts
Without which I’d perish.
Good friends and the memories
Of times which I’ve relished.


I’ll relinquish sad thoughts,
I’m still in fine fettle.
A rose is a rose
When it’s lost all its petals.

Robert Herrick (poet)

Two Poems of ROBERT  HERRICK;

Born Cheapside, London in 1591
Died:  Dean Prior, Devon, in 1674, aged 83.
Educated at St. John’s College, Cambridge
Noted 17th Century Cleric and Poet

… The illustrations and script are my own recently re-discovered student work …

With Tongue In Cheek

Oh yes, I’m now old and decrepit,
But neither past it nor fetid.

In no way I’m over and finished;
My ardour still has not diminished.

… ‘COS …

Age has not wearied me yet;
Desire is still with me,
Lust still stirs within me,
I’m a game old codger, you bet!

…  SO …

IF YOU WERE MINE

You look divine.
If you were mine
I’d drool and dote,
You’d have my vote.

I’d fire Love’s dart
To win your heart.
That’s not a sin,
I know I’d win.

I’d face the press,
Ignore the mess.
I’d  tie you to me
And Lose the key.

With every wish
I’d  be selfish.
You’d have to be
Welded to me.

And each new day
Would show the way
To hold love fast,
To make it last.

And every kiss
Would speak of bliss,
Would prove at last
Life had not past.

They say I’m old
And won’t be told;
That love has past,
Dried up at last.

But yet I know
I’d love you so.
Despite my age
I’d take the stage.

You’d be my queen
And reign supreme
Over our peers.
For which three cheers.

So here’s the rub,
The heart, the nub.
What we’d have then
Is our Amen.

‘Twould gave us hope,
Help us to cope
With life, with pain,
To live again.

And when at last
Our time was past,
Our journey done,
We’d be as one.

. . .   so . . .

Take a note!
I’m not dead yet,
And, get this quote,
“I’d like to bet
You’ll be like me,

You’ll have a ball
When you can see
Work is not all.”

Dribble Verse #2: Methuselah

WHB: Pen & Crayon – 2021

Continuing my, for fun, experimentations with newer verse forms, here is my second attempt at DRIBBLE VERSE.

The dribble is a brief poem consisting of exactly 100 letters (not 100 characters—spaces and punctuation are not counted).  Dribbles most often take the form of a quatrain that turns on a single rhyme and usually provide a humorous observation on a mundane or unconventional subject, but like the haiku or sonnet, some modern poets adhere only to the counting aspect of the form  . . . The name of the dribble is derived from the micro-fiction form known as the drabble, a story consisting of exactly 100 words. Rhyme scheme: abab
From:  https://poetscollective.org/poetryforms/dribble/

Dribble # 2: Methuselah

Methusaleh died at a ripe old age, (27)
Nine hundred and sixty nine. (23)
I read he died in a filthy rage, (24)
Incensed he’d got a parking fine. (26)

The numbers in brackets represent the number of letters in each line -totalling 100 ]

At Play – Then & Now

Photo: WHB – 2002 (manipulated)

Delight and joy
radiant-coloured youth
ignorant of innocence
and centred on life
with due delight
in present days
radiating their found-freedom
in carefree games amongst the summer trees


Unheeding days
unmelted moments
to be
segued in due time
into the concerns of age
until
at length and in their history’s dusk
appears that second coming
a new oblivion
second innocence


Now untainted
by the warts of knowledge
life-worn futures yet unknown
the pains of caring
hidden from their vibrant view
again sensing nature in its infancy
hell-bent
heaven sent
unfractured youth
presaging the oblivion of age
reflecting only the here
the now
present joy shielding
what once was caring
since faded from life’s reality
by-passing tensions
never now to be revealed



On Spring’s Approach

Bring me the head of a daffodil in bloom
Or a buttercup’s yellow gold.
For Spring begins once more
And I am old.
My tears are wept,
I need redress for promises kept.

Show me the butterfly
As it darts and flutters by,
While beneath its breath it sings,
And with burgeoning wings,
Greets the new day’s warmth.

Celebrate the zigzagging bees
Attending each welcoming flower;
Keeping time with the breeze
And gathering nectar
To store in their bower.

For vibrant Spring is on its way,
Rebuilding now its vernal bouquet
Of warmth and renewal,
Pursuing its promise with every day.

On Being Cantankerous

Testy now, and truculent,
Jumping to conclusions,
I tend to speak before I’ve thought,
A source of some confusions.

When I was young and in my prime
I would have paused and pondered
Before I’d let my mouth run free;
My mind would not have wandered.

Now, grumpy and cantankerous,
I’ve no wish to be told,
Despite the fact the signs are there,
That I am growing old.

For age and life have brought to me
Such exasperation
That now I speak my forthright mind,
Inviting much vexation.

Now I’m content to be quite brusque,
To stir up some dissent.
My time of life has brought disdain,
I’ll say just what I meant.

With one foot in the waiting grave
Why pussyfoot around?
Just tell it as it is, my friend,
No comebacks underground.

Omen Of Doubt

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is ripley-faceatthe-window1.jpg

ON OMEN OF DOUBT

He caught my eye in the heat of afternoon
Transfixed my gaze for seconds
A cardboard cutout of a man
Alone and palely loitering

Transfixed
Imprinted in  that fleeting glance
The bespoke figure etched in my vision’s glass
Brought a faltering wisdom

Leaning on my sense of time
Disturbing my sense of normality
Suggesting some bizarre fantasy
Relating to Old Father Time
A reminder of both past and present
Yet warning of what is to come
A comment on my state of mind
And on my own unstable sanity
A pronouncement best left to fade
To curdle in the whey
Of a newly felt despondency.

The sense that age had brought me no peace
Only an uncertainty
That caused me to doubt
Not only my present vision
But my once accepted faith
in a sure future
Hitherto grounded in certainty
But now clouded in the unknown
And coloured in the shadows of doubt

Photo: WHB – Surrey, England – 2020