Monday, 3 April 2017

a poem

Raindrops falling on a stream

I remember standing on this bridge before
And watching the raindrops pattern
The surface of the stream.
But it was nearly twenty years ago
That the water in that stream flowed on
To the Thames.
This is a different stream,
Though things remain:
Its shape is, as far as I can tell,
The same; the look of it from this bridge;
Could there be plants that were there then?;
On the margins, under water;
Or their descendants;
Perhaps a big fish lurks beneath me
That was newly-hatched.
There is still something of that
Old stream, though everything is changed.
And am I the same? I would say so,
Despite the clashing of the plates
That underlay my life.
My wife's illness, my parents' fraud
Exposed, their bankruptcy and deaths;
Despite the astonishing difference of days,
Never a morning the same, except in its beauty;
Despite the travel - Toronto, San Francisco,
Brisbane, Canberra, New York;
Not to mention the grey hair,
The subtly disconcerting creep of growing older.
I like to think that there is something,
An essential me that survives all these.
A big Frank fish that was once newly-hatched.
But maybe there isn't that much.
When I re-read bits of my first novel -
Toiled over in the writing for five years,
In between walks that often took me
Across this bridge -
I can only marvel at the person
Who wrote it, that stranger,
That person long gone.
Time carries us ever further from
Ourselves.
Yet towards ourselves too.
Perhaps the Irish woman was right
When she told me, 'Go with the flow.'
Like the stream. In tune with the
Sinuous weave and rush and eddies
Of life. Inexorable.
The stream reminds me
Of John Hurt's words that he hoped
He would have the courage to say at
Death:
'Vroom, let's go and become different molecules.'
Will I have the courage?
Following the wisdom of an actor
I admired and the stream?

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