Tag: blank verse

Each life a voyage

Each life a voyage, sailed without a map,
Into the wild blue yonder.

                                           Ports of call
Are all we have by way of destination.
Island hops, our only means of travel,
Lean on local knowledge for successful
Landfall or else we fail to make the coast
And drift in wishful dreams of lucky chances.
Winds and waves the drivers, all our hopes 
Depend on how our skills of trim and tack
Hold up against the flow.

                                          Ashore we meet
The ones we come to love and vow to journey
On beside, for nothing stays the stream
Of time and tide. Our voyage side by side
In shared navigation carries us
To further havens: cradles for our young
Who come aboard and sail with us awhile
Until the charms of other charts take hold.

An archipelago of choices lies ahead
And intermingled courses take us on
A mystery tour where curtains hide the truth
That all of us are borne at equal speed
Into the dying light, a great armada
Floating as one ship but fighting shy
Of what this means: that there will come an hour
For each of us when sailing arts and crafts
Begin to fail. Perhaps we hit the rocks
Or sink in open water without trace
Unless another vessel bears away,
To hazy far horizons, memories
Of sailing days and island ways with us.

And what of our own recollections, isles
Of long ago whose colours glow as bright
As ever in our dreams? Unless they're told,
Such visions fade as if they've never been.
But who would want to hear of days gone by
Unless the telling strikes a chord with here
And resonates with now? To stay in tune
And keep in time, no better way than watch
And hear the young at play and - best of all! -
To join their games and find our inner child
Still knows the way!

                                 And when does childhood end?
For some of us, the adult moment comes
Along with our first child into the world.
As new-born grown-ups, all our energies
Are spent in readying our kids to face
The full-on life we somehow just fell into.

Second-time around, when grandkids come,
Our adulthood is worn more lightly. Now
We see the children that we were more clearly
Mirrored in them and shining just as bright,
Such innocence a refuge - then as now -
From worldly weariness and dulled belief.
But hope is never lost that's been deferred
And springs eternal in the risen seed.

Such innocence a refuge from the storm
Though no hiatus, not a moment saved
From time's relentless flow that carries all
Before it: people, islands, planets, stars.

Borne on by winds and waves to our conclusion,
At the last we salvage consolation.
Childhood can bring our little lives full circle.
Sailing days and island ways recycle.
From early on, our rhymes are primed with truth.
We all dip heads into the deep blue sea
So love the whistling wind and glancing spray,
The creaking timberwork and flapping sail,
The peril just beyond the safety rail,
The expertise that keeps mischance at bay.

To live with death in life, our human lot,
We seek out life in death: the power to love
The more because we know that time for us
Is running fast and we are running slow.

In age, what joy to watch the young at play
And hear their puppet parody of what 
We seem to be when who we really are
Inhabit realms more like their own than they
Could well imagine! Little do they know,
Beneath our senior surface dwells a child
Rejoicing in the sight and sound of kids
That keep the flame of life alive and well.
Our powers passed, we glory in their constant
Urge to run and leap and race and climb
And ride and dance as if we danced and rode
And climbed and raced and leapt and ran beside them.

Thus, what draws them on to unseen futures
Resurrects in us our vanished pasts.

                                                               Dave Kingsbury                        


image: Mama Lisa’s World

To A Granddaughter, Aged Four

Here’s another stab at a poem I posted a while ago. I think it’s sufficiently different to warrant a fresh outing. Click this link to see the original version – Beached


So you – sights set upon horizons – ask
For tales of bygone days when I was young
And just set sail myself. What spring to mind
Are moments when, for me, an unknown world
Emerged in truth from sugar-coated sham –
Awakenings in sudden storms, high seas.

The shore you leave with newly-opened eyes
Is where I ended up once time and tide
Grew tired of play and cast me skin and bone
Above the last-gasp breaker. Don’t confuse
These stray salt-streaks upon my face for tears
Nor think me thoughtless when I let fine sand
Fall soft through slackened fingers, so to speak,
For childhood’s visions are as hard to grasp
As specks of gold to sift from sediment
Or meanings to distil from mists of time.

And who can truly claim that he recalls?
So much is lost in transit – fire burned down
To faintly-glowing embers – vivid frames,
From floors of cutting-rooms, rough-spliced at random.

Take your pick. I’d sooner sit before
The fire and dream aloud than watch some movie
Made of smoke and mirrors. Photographs,
Those barefaced little fibbers, capture skin
But hardly give a hint of what’s within.

I’d show you glossy albums packed with stills
Or reels and reels of camera-conscious motion
Should any trace remain of who I was
And what it felt like out upon on the ocean.

No slideshow, then – nor sideshow, come to that,
When all you want is just the Main Event!
So ask me, as you do, what it was like
When I was five – or six or seven – or eight.

I’ll close my eyes and wait for anecdotes
To wander into view – old vinyl plucked
From deep within my whirring jukebox brain –
Epiphanies that sing again, their joys
Released and any sadness alchemised
By healing time and telling into mirth.

So at the death we journey towards birth.


Image result for boat on tropical beach


Image: Pinterest


What follows was inspired by questions from my little granddaughter who, like millions of other children, is a big fan of Moana.

So you – sights set on far horizons – ask
for tales of years gone by when I was young
and just set sail myself. This shore you’ll leave
me standing on, it’s easy to forget,
is where I ended up when time and tide
grew tired of play and cast me like a doll.

Please don’t confuse salt streaks upon my cheeks
for tears, nor think me mindless when I let
fine sand fall soft and free between my fingers.
The voyage was long that brought me here and full
of stories, some you may not care to hear
and others I’m not ready yet to tell.

That fog far out at sea is what’s to come
for you, uncertain here. For me, it shrouds
the past – makes dim and distant days I’d love
to lay before you clear as here-and-now.

Just wait awhile. Let sunshine burn through haze
and scents upon the breeze bring memories
so sharp they entertain and teach by turns.
Let nature take her course and nothing’s hid
which hidden ebb and flow cannot reveal.
So ask once more and what was lost I’ll find –
foresee a future from a past restored to mind.



Image result for moana sets sail


Image: Everything Film РWordPress.com