Saturday 12 January 2019


I've been working on this poem for sometime and I fear it could be overworked. This can happen. I wrote it last year and put it away. As I often say: distance grants perspective.
However, here it is.

The Year of Travelling Backwards

Afterwards he called it his year of travelling backwards,
because someone, sometime, told him
sitting with your back to the engine robs the body of its Chi.
That vital energy seeps out.

It wasn't actually a year but nine months of directionlessness,
of being able only to understand events once they had happened.
Unable to make sense of where he was,
until he was somewhere different.

The latest economic slump had dictated
that he reapply for his own job,
which of course, he did not get.

So he was shunted round the organisation,
slotted into every interview,
in front of panels of resentful faces,
who did not want him either.

These scenes were interspersed
with hospital silences, his father,
trapped between starched white sheets,
slowly leaving his life.

Than before he knew he was:
at the church,
burying his father.

From some things you don't bounce back,
perhaps as you age the spring goes,
and once you've seen it all before
fake enthusiasm is never an option.

He had been in a carriage facing backwards,
then he was off the train.

He left the station.
I am not going to say much about it. I still think I am too close. I started from the line: The year of travelling backwards, and it evolved from that.
Here's someone I am sure of - Ryley Walker. He is live with his wondrous band, 38 minutes of sublime music.
Until next time.

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