Sentimental

These strange things that hold sentimental value

like my great grandmothers’ pocket watch

it has one hand only to tell the time by

and no longer winds or ticks, the silver case is badly tarnished

family jewellery, engagement and eternity rings

gemstones missing

the big old seashell my grandfather kept in the hallway for years

that I used to hold up to my ear to hear the sea

old pencil sketches he made of his allotment

where we used to plant vegetable seeds together and watch them grow.

 

Kitsch ornaments that play musical tunes

old teddy bears threadbare, stinking of age

knitted hand puppets made by my grandmother

stitches weak and unravelling

a moth-eaten Robert Burns poetry book

dated 1896 with yellow thin fragile pages

a rhinestone necklace that used to grace the youthful neck

of my grandmother when Clark Gable was her favourite actor.

 

The last time my grandad held my hand before he died

sometimes I can still feel his grip on my fingers

I don’t think we ever truly let go, do we?

Hush

I need room,

my brain rattles my skull with white noise

basket case conversations, wastepaper words

I’m tangled in a creative knot

trying to unravel, unwind

my days used to have a beginning and an end

now I can’t recognise either

the markers for awake and sleep keep shifting

weeks bleed into each other around here.

 

I’m tethered to this wi-fi lifeline seven long days a week

ti offers me life signs from cyberspace

where everyone has their finger on the pulse

checking they’re still alive

it makes my head hurt, and destroys my vision

inward and outward

still I’m hooked like a hungry fish

that continues to be surprised at being reeled in

time and time again.

 

I need hush

shush

silence

nothing.

 

I need nothing at all to inspire me

switch off, disconnect

breathe and reflect on nothing

a deep concentration of nothing

I drift out into a sea of nothingness

until I am nothing, going nowhere, thinking nothing

until something comes along out of the blue and stops me

from drowning in the wonderful joy of absolutely nothing.

 

Something worth living for

something that reminds me I’m alive

something that makes me smile

something to unravel me.

 

Like those days when we laughed and danced

campfires and guitars

those nights when we talked till we lost track of time

like those years when everything filled our eyes with wonder

hopscotch and skipping ropes

ice-cream and bubble-gum

discos and celebrations

family, friends-

when the human touch meant something.

 

Shush

hush

silence

let me remember you.