moving on

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moving on


you wear your bones

on the outside now.

the smile that once danced

at all our parties,

now a recluse.

folded arms protect the place

where I once died

a past eternity of joys


you spit formalities begrudgingly,

take every chance to turn your face -

still managing to leave

a shadow of



i knot my tongue,

stem the flow of words;

worthless now, disarmed

and dulled with use.


we are comfortable in

these awkward silences.

no shared joke or

familiar look

dare steal these

heavy seconds.


we are here now.

past years have blurred

and all our knowing

lies undone;

all passion

spent on barbs

and buttresses.


and once a week

we watch the children skip

the fraying tightrope

that we struggle to hold.


our memories sleep

untroubled ��"

two distant lives away,

but still shiver

in these bitter winds.


walking in whiteout,

compass broken,

no footsteps to retrace


and no home to go to.



Breathless at the Butcher's . . . or . . . The Sins of the Flesh. ►


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Fri 17th Apr 2009 18:29

Hi Anthony,

really like this poem - and your other work

I agree with Helen re the opening stanza

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Anthony Emmerson

Thu 16th Apr 2009 17:10

Hi everyone,
And thanks for your encouraging comments. I guess I ought to add that this is in no way autobiographical. I don't have children, but I wanted to portray that awful combination of feelings that can overwhelm us after the break up of a once-loving relationship. (Go on, admit it, you've all been there, no matter how civilised you may think yourself!) I expect that when added to the mix, the enduring presence of mutual offspring must only magnify these uncomfortable emotions. I hope not too many of you were able to identify with this situation.

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Steve Regan

Thu 16th Apr 2009 15:11

Loved that, Anthony. I speak as someone who hasn't any children and now feels sad and regretful about that, having left it a bit late to put right. But I do know how awkward it can be meeting up with someone after you have split. You've captured all those emotions very well. Almost had me "skriking" ... as they say in Wigan - and me who has a swingin, brick where my heart oughtta be!

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Wed 15th Apr 2009 22:45

Very strong Anthony. The pain of separation which is not complete because of children is so long and so well dealt with here.

Helen Thomas

Wed 15th Apr 2009 01:05

I think the first stanza is especially powerful - is very well done.

<Deleted User> (5646)

Sat 11th Apr 2009 12:23

Well Anthony,
i like every bit of this poem. Although i was fortunate enough to have two parents who stayed together all the while, that wasn't perfect either. Maybe i'm missing the point in the poem a little with my first statement there but i guess what it says is that relationships do fail.
I think,
You have captured the rawness within this poem and to have left out any of the stanzas would leave it bereft of emotion. As it stands it caught at my heart and mind because of the truth of it for many people.
Yet another blinder, :-)

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Fri 10th Apr 2009 22:13

Ahhh moving on... difficult to do sometimes...
These lines are powerful:

'our memories sleep
untroubled –
two distant lives away,
but still shiver
in these bitter winds.

walking in whiteout,
compass broken,
no footsteps to retrace

and no home to go to.'

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Fri 10th Apr 2009 22:05

walking in whiteout, compass broken, no footsteps to retrace. I've had a beer tonight as its been my birthday this past week. My emotional blurb is stimulated, this one, had me weeping.

<Deleted User>

Fri 10th Apr 2009 15:17

I really like this as it is somehting I can relate to

1, 2 , and 6 are particularly strong verses, with detail. I'm not sure about the other more general verses which do speak but not with the same impact for me, but it is a very deep and emotional poem.

Love the first line it is so overwhelmingly powerful

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