Written from the prompt 'Mystery Man', but it's non-fiction this time.
‘Do they serve beer in this pub?’
‘Well we had some before didn’t we? I’ll ask one of them. Excuse me, could we have two halves please?’
The man in the corporate uniform smiled. ‘Two halves, sure.’
‘So, we’re all right, aren’t we? We’ve got at least one car, haven’t we? Yours.’
‘No, I didn’t bring it – it’s only a five minutes walk from home.’
‘Oh, ok. I wish they’d hurry up with that beer.’
‘Here you are, sir.’ The man in uniform smiled and set down the two drinks.
Jim picked up the plastic beaker. Dipped his finger in the liquid. Looked at it.
‘Not much of a pub, is it? It’s water. I don’t drink water.’
‘It’s all they’re serving just now, Dad.’
‘Shall we go to another pub? We’ll go when you’re ready. ’
‘We can’t go yet, Dad. You need to stay here for a while.’
‘I haven’t got any money on me. You’ll have to pay.’
The mystery for me is, where the hell did he go? He’s still there, he seems to be talking perfect sense, he knows who we are – myself, my sister and her husband, and my brother. But somehow, without his reminders around him, his photos and his things, he has less of a hold on who he is. We hope he’ll recover enough to go back to his own house, where he’d been coping, with help, until he fell and broke his wrist.
We are our memories, and our real wealth lies in these and not in our possessions. But suddenly the word souvenir has more significance for me.
September 7th 2008
Living in a constant now
should be heaven.
to the max
to what’s gone
by the yet to come.
I am caught in a moment
plans and memories
on the fishhook
of the present
where I wriggle
by the past
for the future.
in intensity of being.
I am what I have been
and will become
I must know
as well as feel
June 17 2008.
Written after reading about dementia and loss of short-term memory leading to living in a succession of present moments. Contrasting this with our desire to say to the moment, along with Goethe's Faust ' Verweile doch, du bist so schön!'
I wrote these two poems as a response to a challenge on Writers' Dock - a poem about Resolutions. (Dec 07, Jan 08)
For me, no resolutions for New Year,
for surely, those I make, I’ll break as well.
To me they’re paving on the road to hell -
each one’s a millstone, crushing life with fear.
For some they work and teach them to adhere
to a regime whose rigour can impel
them to create, and their success to swell.
For me, alas, this corset’s too severe.
And yet, I need a structure and a shape
to hold and mould my ever good intentions,
to take my mind exploring new dimensions,
while stronger than the danger of escape.
So, my resolve each day will start anew
and, inch by inch, I’ll paint the grey sky blue.
I am not happy with the last two lines - they need work.Even the last three...
I vow to improve
I swear I’ll get there
I promise I’ll do it
If I can keep to it,
this pledge on the edge
of the year’s change.
I assure you,
implore you to trust me
at least I show willing -
I’ll do better –
The last three lines would be good for a lapsed gambling addict...
I laughed when he said
he couldn’t remember
if she was dead,
who she had been,
that they were married
for forty years or so
He’d left a wife for this
an existential decision
following his truth.
What price truth now?
And where lies love?
she struts, she shouts,
her books and clothes
She cultivates her garden
she runs upstairs
inside and out
her space shrinks
others are taller
she stops running
up the stairs
down the garden
she sits aside
cutting her space
according to her needs.
she stays downstairs.
the dingy kitchen’s
good enough for cups of tea
and ready meals
she sits in a chair
in one room,
gazing at windows
enough light in,
yet leave her too exposed.