Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Prose acre


What are the edges, where there are no edges?
That restrain the boy, "no further!" Shall I go? No.
The hillside heather, stepped so many times before
in a mind's adventure, on a boy's bouncing shoes,
from rock to warm rock, or in the deep grass world to lie.
But on this cusp, above a small holding, the easy path
around the fenced fields; so why not step forward?
What invisible glare, there, holds me back?
Why not down the south side as I do the homeward north?
Or down along the river tread the scrapyard's tricky path,
before "no further's" creeping flesh turns back.
Or up to the 600 weir, where every dereliction's frown
turns down the drizzle collars damp enough, turn back.
The river boundary plain to see, and then the sea of course.
But what minds a boy to "stand back!" from the inner, 
of the inner, of every rusty, smoke-bricked factory, 
or works long dead, has said, in a bit more? But "no!" 
Falls down upon a frown, I wish, I wish to go. But no.
Oh boy, your boundaries grow with you in height and depth,
but the phantom "do not cross!" so rankles the lust
for just a bit further, then further. See how I cannot see it?
How far and wide can my home range be stretched before
it is home no more? But a bubble universe set to break away.
Beat the boundaries good and hard, and take a quick look
over there, and down there, and across there. Then turn
back home and beat a slow retreat, back along my beat.
The "Why?" Of  "no further" seems to be, quite simple see,
that the boundary is too fragile. Deep down I knew it all along.
Tactile the feeling that to push too hard would bring the edifice
of childhood tumbling down, and all my pals, the boys and girls 
would flood out. Melancholy, as the days pour in stinging in tears,
blurring out who we were, in a "do you remember when?"
But I am not yet ready to relinquish this story-minded childhood.
So I do not cross. Maybe tomorrow, or the day after?
The threadbare shawl still wraps warm around the days,
and all the whispered ways, that lead to the edge, of ...

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