Monday, 25 August 2014



The rhythm was even, and gentle,
to and fro, to and fro…
For so many years he dreamed,
whiling away the hours
as he rocked the memories
gently in his mind.
It was all so quiet now,
not like before, so many years ago.

Then, he'd often thought
that the noise was making tunnels in his mind.
It was then that he'd wished
for silence. Not now.
He was at peace with himself
and with the world
but still, he couldn't help recalling
the sounds of times gone past.

At one time, his verandah
reverberated with the hoops
of fierce Red Indians
fighting for their lives. 
Wild battles with Custer's men
threatened to rock the very foundations
of his existence..
but gentle little nurses waited nearby.

Nothing was left unnoticed,
or unloved. The pots of palms
became jungles, hiding wild animals..
A discarded light shade
shielded a great white hunter
from the steamy glare
of the jungles of imagination.
Such times they were!

Only the cream of local society
was invited to the tea parties.
Gingerbread men, wearing garbs
of peppermint icing, nestled cosily
alongside pink frosted patty cakes,
proudly crowned with a glistening red cherry.
Tiny white china cups held promises
of cool, sticky lemonade.

To and fro, to and fro, he rocked..
crumbs of memories
scattered in his dreams.
The gate squeaked, a whoop, a cry!
A laughing cluster of children
tumbled up the path.
"Grandad, it's us..
we've come to stay!"

Crissouli (c) 2011

image from the British Library collection
no known copyright


  1. Such a beautiful, insightful poem Chris. it's a reminder that there is so much more to people than what we see at any given point in time.

    1. Thank you, I see this even more now, as I look at those around us... I've always wondered what the child within was like, whether it be a person shuffling in the street, or huddled under newspapers on a park bench...
      We glance and move on too quickly. At least now, I can ask the questions, hold a hand, keep beat to a silent song and shield their memories...


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