Sentinel Poetry (Online) #25     2nd Anniversary Issue    December 2004



Naive enthusiasm came back to me for a while
until its stamping on each diary-entry a variation upon a theme
ran out of time.
I was forced, by oncoming things I ducked,
to confront something outside me,
and pull myself together, man, grow up, again.
The energy of the untried, the fever of innocence
can take you over until
the weekend's demise
the holiday's end
the dream's awakening
robs you of that chirpy reclusiveness,
where uncritically you hide in yourself,
let nobody call you out.


Memory's like that,
fixed in your mind
it was so,
but it wasn't.
Revisiting youthful haunts, you confidently predict
a quaint old Saxon church by the roadside,
or, somewhere off here, that village
kiddied you years back
was worth a cheap sigh,
but puzzlingly they're nowhere to be found,
or, in reminiscing over funerals, as you do,
you mix up whether towards the dead
you had to make a sign of the cross
like a priest sideways-palmed
or with flung holy water.
Even what you proclaim
is a matter of opinion,
gossip or partisan hearsay
you participate in over someone's unverifiable life
isn't there any more to put you right.

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