An uncommon future

This poem emerged from a conversation with some older relatives, where I talked about a vivid memory I had of a time we shared. They looked at me as if I’d arrived from another planet and told me none of the things I recalled ever happened.

Since the elders told me I only remember myths or dreams,

I’m not sure what past I share with you.

Often enough, until now,

I assumed a shared memory space,

a common time.


But if none of it was real

it means we can be anything,

now and in the future,

because the past is only what we make up

from hatred and desire.


The challenge now is to grab this thing,

this weightless freehold,

this rule change,

and enter this corridor of a thousand doors

and dare to knock on them all.


I want in my remaining years

to say the unsayable and deliver the unaddressed

and release the never-to-be,

before it can hide in safe corners,

waiting for something-to-turn-up.


Never again will I wrap my tiny fortune,

like a sixpence,

in the corner of my childhood hankie,

waiting for the tuck shop to open

and fulfil my desires.


For time is the only kingdom,

the power and the glory,

for ever and ever.

And if we have no common past

we must have an uncommon future.



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