Sunday, 26 July 2009

Year One

(for Melissa)

I’d like to tell you
Stand tall -
But don’t be afraid to crawl in bug-eyed awe
Through such a massive world.

Touch everything you can,
Whether it’s jelly, someone’s cheek or mud.
Take every delight you can
In each of your six precious senses.

Ribald, round little buddha -
Show me that toothless grin
And don’t stop laughing loudly and dirtily
It's a pantomime state that we’re in.

You’re on year one of your life
And I’m halfway through mine.
You’re just learning to balance and stand;
I’m only just learning to stand back

And lay down my sword and shield.
You’ve yet to make yours, let alone tag an enemy.
Your best weapon will be that fearless smile.
Or a bubble. Blow a big bubble then climb in.

Make plenty of soapy mohicans
And always create a big splash.
Part of the process is to discover what pleasure is
But then be just as sure to let it pass.

Lie on your back in long grass
Revel in having tanned, happy hands
And damp, scratty hair
Like yours is just now:

Daft blond elf,
Dancing to every tune you hear,
Never stopping moving, looking, noticing,
But remember to stop and stare too.

What’s this? What’s that!
It’s the discovery stage you’re at.
Next is grabbing and yelping Mine! Mine too!
Then learning slowly that no thing is yours

No matter how hard you hold it,
And that nothing really matters -
That’s a hard nut to crack,
But therein lies the peaceful path.

I’ll always watch out for you,
But only you can be the watcher of your mind:
It can be a locked metal box, a prison
Or let you be free as an endless sky…

And always keep a secret or two.
Be a crazy jack-in-the box.
Remember every man is an island
And that no man is an island too.

In fact, men are like mice,
So don’t expect them to see a plan through.
All of them scurry and change their direction
Without even meaning to…

I hope your daemon never leaves you
That he always stays by your side
But if you do find yourself alone, then keep marching on
Like a great elephant, don’t lose your stride.

These words will seem like riddles
For many a year to come yet
In the meantime, there's a whole day to play for
So for now, let’s watch the barn owl swoop

Let’s listen to the wood pigeon coo.
Now who’ll tickle who?
One day I hope to grin back at you
When my grin is toothless too.

July 09 (IV)

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