Like my poetry, I am a work in progress, as I believe we all are. We all hanker after times and places of innocence and yet we would never exchange the present for the past, go back to our childhoods. Whether or not we make resolutions at the start of a new year is immaterial: we are all constantly evolving and adapting to change. In our hearts we long for growth, for improvement, for greater understanding of ourselves, of our relationships, and of the world around us. Each day is a draft, an attempt, and maturity teaches us at least to accept that among the successes, the minor gains, there will be failures, perhaps even dead-ends that force us to rethink everything, to begin again. Setbacks. The occasional achievement. So it is with writing. There are good days, and days where the writing simply does not flow, or if it does, it flows too easily and in hindsight amounts to nothing.

Reading the letters of Samuel Beckett has been salutary and illuminating. So much of Beckett’s writing is soliloquy. In the novel, The Unnamable, in his theatre Krapp’s Last Tape, the sole soul on the stage or on the page, life’s essential drama, to be or not to be, and Beckett’s Hamlet finally responds in the novel: “. . . where I am, I don’t know, I’ll never know, in the silence you don’t know, you must go on, I can’t go on, I’ll go on.” Resolution.



To avoid further calamity
         to recapture the innocence
of time and place
         that I knew as a child
there on the heath
         amid the sand dunes
and the gorse
         the sun scorching my face
breath fast and furious
         up hill and down dale on a bicycle
the yellow-brick road of youth
         innocence of the earth
of the seasons
         of the rise and fall of nature
to be finally in tune with myself
         in control of my idiom
and with some understanding
         of the enigma of my being
among all other beings
         Yes I am guilty of days
months and years
         but the rain
the fierce morning rain
         that shattered my sleep
has absolved me
         I mourn nothing
not even the passage of time
         nor the process of aging
I am the only secret
         I will take to the grave
but I am content
         and I live in hope

John Lyons


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