This transient journey

We awake in the glow of the half morning light

With a frost bitten body and yawning head

We awake in the body of one still asleep

And fight with fury to be free from our bed.


Our body breaks out while our mind stays asleep

And our cold steps to the bathroom uncertain

And the dark night still staving off the day

In the darkness behind the curtain.


The towel on our body soaks up the water,

Like our ardour the day will consume

And we stumble to clothing and boots to put on

And we close off the light in the room.


No thought to the clothes that we chose for the day

Or the boots, or the shirt of pressed white

But did colours all blend and hair nicely neat

And match the powerful, willing and right.


Do men and women ponder their day?

Do they think on their present and past?

Do they consider what shoes they might wear today

If this day were to be their last?


Will I die in black shoes of leather or brown?

Will my shirt be washed and pressed?

Do we move mindfully through the moments

Knowing that breathing is for the blessed?


No, we take on the day like we did yesterday.

We believe that we’re owed a tomorrow,

But little we know that for each of us now

The future will hold for us sorrow.


Like shoes and like boots, we pass over our love

We leave houses and homes without care

We forget the lover asleep in our bed

And the life that they’ll have to bear.


We think not of our miracle, our place in the world

We think not of the magic of time

We think not of the journey, the joy and the love

We think not of the reason and rhyme.


Yet I, even I, hungrily yearn still for a life

I still hope and seek a path far from madness.

I refuse to consider eternity or tombstones

Or a Philip Larkin kind of sadness,


Who with ‘the loneliness of his life made infinite *

Spent a lifetime thinking and writing of death

And thought of nothing but the cold inevitable

With his last and lonely dying breath.


Poor poet, the sky can be blue and sun-filled

And though go the postmen from house to house, **

Let the work be great work that is done,

Let fear not our bold zeal and devotion douse.


* A.N. Wilson in relation to Philip Larkin
** Inspired by the Philip Larkin poem Aubade
Copyright © 2017 Grant Fenton – All Rights Reserved




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