February 2, 2023

Parapraxis

Writer's Showcase

Being Me

3 min read

Being Me

Confidence is a very strange thing. I just don’t know how to put my finger on it. It dissolves so easily, is destroyed by sensitivity. Yet sensitivity is almost the prerequisite of the writer.  I was amazed to realise that I wrote this poem some fifteen years ago.  A lot has changed since then, not least my body and my ability to power walk up and down hills as I did then!  Still, at the time, it was a valid testament to my honest feeling one day – a day when my wife was visiting her parents some thousand kilometers away in another country.

 

 

The wind of change blows,

through the unfurling leaves.

Raising, silently,

steam – from moist sunlit soil

that only feels this heat once each year.

A light mist fogs the slanting columns

of Spring sunlight, and all could

be well with the world ~

only,

of course,

the world is far from well.

 

It is an illusion then … like all things …

something and nothing … there and not there …

 

Warm balmy air to sweeten your breath

fills this tunnel through the trees,

and soon it will become a refuge from

the relentless Summer heat….

I feel your breath tickle my cheek,

your fingers tingling my neck,

trailing through my hair ~

only,

of course,

you are nowhere near me.

 

It is an illusion then … like all things …

something and nothing … there and not there …

 

Clean fresh air fills my lungs as I pace,

panting my way up this hill …

it’s just the same gas that we breath daily –

the spoken air: that once fueled

the lungs of the proud Robin …

that mixed inside the frog’s croak …

that bore your sweet kiss ~

only,

of course,

it is far from being fresh.

 

It is an illusion then … like all things …

something and nothing … there and not there …

 

My virile mind maintains it’s old lie,

my heart boom-booms to my step …

for I am young, and fit, and full of vim …

Legs of iron, lungs like silk,

going on for ever – like the sun –

doing exercise ~

only,

of course,

I am far from being young.

 

It is an illusion then … like all things …

something and nothing … there and not there …

 

So I stop and turn back, without you

I fear my mortality …

an old, tired man, who power walks each day,

but is fearful without

a plastic identity card,

to tie on my toe ~

so that …

someone …

could tell you that I am … ‘me’.

 

It’s no illusion then … the cold hand of reality …

something and nothing … there but not there.

 

 

© Allen Ansell 2022

 

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Being Me

  1. When this poem was published on UKAUTHORS member “James” said of it: ‘Though I am not normally a fan of repetition, mainly because it doesn’t usually work, I think the “of course…” at the end of each stanza adds a tone of melancholy and contrasts well with the preceding line, which only adds to their effectiveness.
    A mention for the opening of your final stanza, that “without you fearing my mortality” is a special line. The inattentive reader could expect a comma after ‘you’, but the way you have it is far more interesting. On the surface, perhaps, it seems a simple piece, but these lines show the care in the craft:

    the spoken air: that once fuelled
    the lungs of the proud Robin …
    that mixed inside the frog’s croak …

    Congratulations on the award [nib], too.

  2. I love the descriptive words used in this poem. It’s almost as if I’m inside the poem – running on the hill with the character and enjoying the beautiful weather with him. And just like the character, we all have fears and things we dread…and the cold hands of reality never fail to bring what we fear to our doorstep. Well done, Allen. It was a nice poem indeed.

  3. A reflective piece; and I liked the contrasting image of nature and the speaker’s inner life – being there yet still missing the loved one. And I thought the progression of the linking: “It is an illusion then … like all things …something and nothing … there and not there …” worked well – excellent Allen!

  4. It’s there or it’s not there, similar things happens in life success is right there we don’t see it because of the illusions of distractions. We have it right there but still cannot feel it, cannot enjoy it. A wonderful peice it is, I always tend to find different views from your poems Allen and from this I have taken this, I really appreciate it. Keep up the good work.

  5. This brought to mind so many different visions. An old country road. Boys playing from dawn to dusk. Jumping into swimming holes to escape oppressive heat. My imagination alternated between this visual, and that of a lonely old man, perhaps remembering those days of his youth. Remembering loved ones lost. I’m not sure what evoked this imagery, but it was both sad and joyful. Beautifully written.

    1. Hello Jenny, Thanks for reading and commenting. The magic of words is that they encourage the readers to interpret their pattern in a wholely unique way. However an author describes something there is no guarantee any two readers will ‘see’ the same thing in their mind’s eye. Your interpretation is wonderful to read about, and I thank you for taking the time to tell me about it. Best wishes, Allen

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