Between the idea And the reality Between the motion And the act Falls the Shadow.
T.S. Eliot (The Journey of the Magi)
I wrote this poem, as I did several of my recently blogged poems, many years ago. In ‘A Death I Die’ below the sober thoughts reflect a dark mood, the reason for which I now have no recollection. For me, at the time of writing, they obviously represented the Shadow, that halfway house between knowing and not-knowing, between what is and what might be, between Eliot’s ‘the motion and the act’.
A DEATH I DIE
I have no heart for selfish love that starts and ends with flesh. It leads along an endless path, it binds, compels afresh.
There is a sort of death I die; Am killed and kill myself. I am alone in this. I am a willing suicide. I go on a journey bearing my own end.
This death is a habit, a nasty selfish habit I know and hate it. I both give and receive. The giving is good – but also a habit.
Receiving – an infinite regression. We plan the means and the end is all. Purgatory is the cemetery, time the resurrection. And All is planned that This should be so.
Walk, Eat, Sleep, Wake, Little to do To myself I talk Thus the story of twenty-twenty Gone the years of more and plenty Cover my face as in disgrace Cross my heart and keep apart Cuddles banned Hugs verboten Kiss me quick all that forgotten When will it end and will it ever A Life to live A love to sever Lock me up they might as well For where I am there I dwell Nothing but time to fill each day And time never ends so here I stay Locked in this cell not feeling well Till hope returns and once again within me burns
Once upon a sublime time when daylight lingered long into night’s advance shadows crept from silent space wrapping themselves around the foothills of my youth their clutch clinging to my burgeoning hopes with silky snake embrace promising to smother all ills to suck the poison from my advance and still the waves that beat upon my summer shore
But now with time progressed and prospects passed with what avails me slipped away that promised land the unproven myth shown for what it is have I learnt nothing from my dreams has expectation become ash youth’s promise proven pallid yet stubbornly remaining to bolster what is left to me of life and give me strength to persist and hope for glory yet
‘Every man is searching for the place he belongs.’ James Joyce
Where do I belong Is it my birthplace Or some other place where I have laid my head?
I no longer search For I am secure in knowing with increasing certainty My heart still lives in the hills of my childhood home It awakes each morning with the scent of bracken and heather And the soft green turf of the rolling moor Even at such long removed time and space These tastes, these smells, these images In the quiet moments of my active day Have an unnerving reality Sustain my being and nourish the silence of my soul Rarely do the comforting memories engendered Leave me dispirited and downcast Seldom do the doubts of my waking troubles Not gain encouragement from the solidity The comforting certainties of my history And I have never lost their throbbing power To anchor the passage of fleeting time In the calm and stillness of my reflection
where does it end when does it end know that it never does never will there’s always more more of the same more that differs more that extends into yet more it is the very nature of existence and reality remains without end for dead or alive we she he it there is only Infinity and infinite tomorrows forever everlasting eternity bending into time without end AMEN – So Be It