Moving out and moving on, such is the plan;

we agreed a date in late July –

good for the buyers with half a summer still

to enjoy GB at its best, from breathless arrival,

through the finery of one whole, golden autumn

before hunkering-down deep into winter

and out again when survival allows.


I have, while here for thirty years, learned that

time may be measured by church bells or

conch shells, or any idea or dance, which

any living or lifeless thing employed or

enjoyed by any of such where strict coordinates

do not mark the spot and are not designed for

enlightenment, love or joy. To recall and search for

 further murmurings of would-be lovers’ lips

following the first magnetic draw of one slave

on another, is no linear deployment of a

mix of entangled enigmas with teasing tastes –

parts of us that will give their all for a moment,

then, if unused, fade slowly away.


And I have considered whether

the mist that forms each day and

wraps itself as lace around us to make

and marvel at our own essential mystery

can or should strive to compartmentalise

the do’s from the don’ts, to work up lists

of ingredients of us both. All to what end?

Neither would convey more than the name on

a label, on a tablecloth, on a pretty print dress.


The kiss (itself a lovely, lively promoter

of random nomenclature) must, and

maybe more than once, travel far to find

recognised currencies of thought and deed

just to embark on a voyage that might some day

disinter true treasuries of language, to be

set aside for the common good; and so enable

each Theseus of our time to describe the sirens’ song;

or for you or I and all our whelps (each washed

at birth in kisses) to restore to former glory

scores of ancient rhymes and stories now disused

through use of disfigured and misleading meanings.


You and I are, conventionally, at the same end

of a range from which commentators assert

an age for each and, by reference to this flimsy link,

catalogue, classify and value so much of our daytime

participation in the natural world, thereby saving

time saying little about the individual. Our young have

tumbled to this quickly, seeing no innate worth

in the number and saying so; and in return we

pass to our young the odd nugget of experience

when starting, for instance, to slide the wrong way

on a pole that hasn’t yet been manufactured.

But the flow goes downwards and it’s best to let go.


For those relinquishing the field to the young,

it is a time for celebration; they can move on,

on their terms, on their own planes, astride

superannuated Castilian warhorse or Aston DB5,

tilting at windmills or wooing with wing mirrors.

And what stories await! No time plane now to

weigh us down; it will take as long as it takes so

throw the hourglass away and sit quietly by

the church listening to conch shells, waiting

only for the bells to chime and clear the air.


And if there be any tiny sliver of

unclaimed time which floats past such as, say,

after a good meal, could we learn to

move on by inviting it in to share a digestif or by

writing a few words about what lies ahead, what it is

and what it could be said to be? Any number or nature of

words will fit the exercise, for words written now

will inform, imperceptibly but inevitably, every little deed

and every tiny thought. And while we moved out,

courtesy clear influences and motors well understood,

it needs our attention each day to set a goal,

before the horizon, to move on and be content with

the hows, whens and whys and so make sense of

part of our residual rich existences.





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Greg Freeman

Sat 15th Aug 2020 19:33

Good to see you posting here again, Peter. You have a unique style which deserves and demands more than one reading. There is a mood of serene acceptance in this one, is what I divine. "The mist that forms each day and wraps itself as lace around us" is a phrase to savour.

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