Hogmanay

Do you dream in the wee small hours

between this year and the next?

When the past recedes in minutes; steps

darkening shadow of regrets.

 

Do you glimpse the spirit of your other self

and pausing, consider which coat you wear?

Which hat, which shoes, which life –

your choice. Simply ask yourself, ‘Do I dare?’

 

When failure tightens a noose around your neck

and tethers ivy twine about your feet,

does fear unhindered caress your hands? Then, do you

unshackle; do you risk all while your heart still beats?

 

Do you step up? And out at Hogmanay,

and promise, whispered clear,

to be the better Bestest you.

Or bend and wilt away another year?

 

 

 

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Remember me

Help for Heroes  http://www.helpforheroes.org.uk/

This poem in its rambling fractured style is meant to reflect the mood and memories of a wounded soldier of unspecified age and unspecified war.

*****

I once asked a youthful love

to remember me.

To remember me

in every minute of her day.

I made a promise

to remember her.

Did she remember me?

*

Does anyone remember me?

Cry out “I remember!” if you do.

And in remembering, remember ‘us’ too.

*

I remember ‘us’ in my waking and my sleeping

I remember ‘us’ in every minute of my day.

That ‘us.’

That band of thrown together ‘us’ –

Our friendships forged in foreign land.

*

Across ground rent by battle our torn feet fell,

in foul mire slipping; seeking

Silence. And escape from hell.

Faith destroyed, we lost our way –

forgot to stop; forgot to pray.

Shivering, we lay, shattered –

shot through with seering pain.

And exhausted; slept,

beneath a heavy, choking rain.

“Get up! Push on!”

And weeping, up we lept,

To stagger forward, on and together on,

midst ricochetting, screaming death, poised

waiting to snatch our breath.

In dark gloom, fog  and shrieking noise

we ‘pressed on,’

til rupturing,

the earth exploding burst,

spitting sand shards into eyes,

and lips grit-crusted, mocking thirst.

*

I hear her voice, a melodic memory,  in my hollowed ears.

And whilst falling, with intense rush I sudden remember me,

in flickering flashbacks; cine

moments – tossed chaotic – adrift on life’s lost sea.

*

In a nighmare, black, I wake

my eyes on fire.

Somewhere, a muffled half-heard singing, that I strain to hear

with ears ruptured by the blast.

Somewhere, sweet scent blows through open window –

green fields, gorse and honeysuckle.

Somewhere, in dreams I walk, with red balloon.

Red.

Red dripping blood. Red haemorrhaging into sand.

Remember me! I cry! Remember! … re-mem–ber –

morphine’s gentle push down slumber slide.

*

Later, much much later, my fingers find

her last letter; paper crisp

against my heart.

Unread and unanswered.

Years on, unanswered still.

Did she remember me?

*

As  autumn’s curtain draws on summer

And birds soar in sweeping last farewell,

Like leaves that float and turning fall

let luck grasp at memories dropping through zephyr breeze

and let us pause to remember

my friends,

those whom I did not join,

the nation’s fallen bravest best.

Remember them, the dead.

But also remember me, the living –

remember me.