I have counted down the days, hours, minutes,
one by one, each tock of my grandfather clock
linked in pen and ink chains of endless words.
From arrival to departure, time’s fickle finger has
pointed me onwards into my future or backwards
into a delusional past that never was as I recall it.
Packed bags, backpacks crammed full of snacks,
ammunition against the hunger wars soon to be
upon them, they commence their long journey home.
Grown ups, some in their second childhood, bemoan
ties that bind, tides that rip us apart, tearing hearts,
swinging us in and out as, cockle-shell heroes, we man
our coracles and consult wide-ranging horoscopes that
never fail to comfort, the future’s wild words, written
in pitiless skies to guide and inspire all earthly creatures
born into sadness and death. No heroes in this house.
Just two old people, grey-haired, broken, contemplating
this soon to be silent home, knowing the Rolling Stones
were right, that rocks in motion don’t gather no moss,
that each lost moment is a finger-nail torn from flesh,
that today of all days could verily be ‘the last time’.
Commentary: Here for such a little while and gone already. Two years since they were here and two more years before they come back again. The silence is overwhelming. Only CNN with its endless cacophony breaks into the conscious mind, though that mind is unconscious now of words and their meanings. Images of emptiness, empty nests, this empty nest, these empty nests fill the vacancy of space. The heart is a black hole in the chest, sucking everything out of the light and into that dark, vacant space.