A moment plucked from a past
That cannot last
The tone and timbre of a long-lost voice
Heaven-sent, her voice in my head,
No longer alive, no longer dead. 

The recollected smell of burning gas
On a cold winter's morning, in, maybe, 1965,
When she was so glad to be alive, and kicking.

I am rudely yawning as she warns me
Not to rush
To take my time.

I do not mind her warning, as I should,
But cycle like the clappers
Hot blood, to hear the sound of bells
Announce my real, passing, presence.

I did not hear
Time's  wingèd  chariot
Draw so near. 



◄ Soul music

Locked up north ►


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John Marks

Wed 21st Oct 2020 23:09

Thanks for the likes Shifa, Cathy, Chris, Stephen and Tom. The inspiration for this poem, Tom, was partly personal memory but also a remembered reading of Andrew Marvell's marvellous and, ironically (!), postumously published Cavalier poem of seduction 'To his coy mistress' from which I stole my final image. I agree with you, Sandy Denny's rendition of this beautifully sad song is truly moving.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s wingèd chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found;
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long-preserved virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust;
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none, I think, do there embrace. 1681

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Wed 21st Oct 2020 09:56

Great poem John. I love this song and it has been on my playlist since March. Feels incredibly apt for the strange time dilations of this lonely year.

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