Back to life


So now the dream is passing once again
Into the shadows, and my soul is still.
I dodged the bullet: no rash moves, no pain
Or harm done – this time – by my fickle will.
I guess I’m grateful all is now serene
And ordered, as it was a week ago
Before thoughts of what-if and might-have-been
Burst through, disrupting life’s safe, simple flow.
It may be weeks, months – years – till they return
But I must be prepared in heart and mind:
Count blessings, look around me, breathe, and learn
To live the here-and-now, not look behind.
For all is well, and I have many ways
Of finding space and daring in my days.

15 thoughts on “Back to life

  1. Hi Nick,
    again you find the petameters to express what goes on in your life, and this, following your last poem tells me you have come to terms with the present status quo 🙂 You dodged the bullit! 🙂

    Till the next time of great dreaming comes perhaps?

    x 😉

    • Hi Ina – you got it exactly; this poem rounds off what turned into a sequence (which I never intended it to be!) starting with the dream itself, through the struggle to make sense of the dream, ending with accepting that life just – is. And that that is no bad thing. The dream will never go away completely, but I’m slowly learning that it isn’t a case of ‘all or nothing’.

      Thank you for joining me on this little existential journey, and all your encouragement en route! N.xx

  2. Excellently crafted and worded poem – the flow is wonderful, and iambic pentameter is awesome. I also really enjoyed the poem itself; really well done! ~ Julie 🙂

    • Thank you Julie – and from AB, too. The poem-before this-one harks back to the three trips I made to ranches in BC when I was in my early 20s (literally half a lifetime ago now!) and the dream of going back there and living that life again that never quite leaves me. I’ve decided to write only formal, metrical verse this year, and I’m having a great time doing it: I find its constraints and challenges actually force me to be more creative, not less, and really consider every word and syllable. Glad you think it works! N.

  3. Sanity Nick? Well, if I were sane I would probably stop writing sonnets and would definitely not take off on another epic. On the other hand, there is something to be said of the fact that we must all:
    …be prepared in heart and mind:
    Count blessings, look around me, breathe, and learn
    To live the here-and-now, not look behind.
    By the way, your reply to Julie is perfect since I too am only doing formal, metric verse this year, and I too
    “find its constraints and challenges actually force me to be more creative, not less, and really consider every word and syllable.” Julie is a strong poet in her own right, skilled with various traditional forms. I don’t know if you’ve read any of her work. I admire free verse, especially if it is done by someone as skilled and disciplined as Ethel is, who can really write, and have written a fair amount myself, but have been delighted to find other poets on wordpress like you and John Stevens and Jim Heinz (DoubleSimile) who are expert at traditional forms and treat them with true craft rather than going at it half-heartedly. The discovery has empowered me.
    I love the balance and song of this sonnet. I like the entire sequence of poems. Well done, my friend. Well done.

    • Thank you, Tom – metrical verse is a strict and exacting school sometimes, but it feels like ‘real work’, and that’s important to me, as you know. I’ve written a lot of free verse in my time, and I don’t know whether it’s any good or not, really; the metrical forms give me a benchmark, if only from a technical point of view, that I find helpful. Thank you, too, for championing my cause; you’re the mentor I’ve needed for so long. N.

  4. Once again an absolute gem Nick.

    I am pleased equilibrium has been restored once more.

    All I know is that however you happen to be feeling your excellent ways of expressing whatever it may be are ever present.

    Christine xx

    • Yep, still here and still battling on! And thank you so much for this comment: one of the (many, many) things that’s always concerned me about my writing is that it’s too ‘engineered’: all technique and no expression, and doesn’t really ‘say’ anything. I feel better now. N.xx

    • Any friend of Thomas and Ethel’s is a friend of mine; thank you so much for visiting. I’ve set myself a ‘metrical poetry only’ challenge for 2012, so there will probably be a lot more sonnets to come yet! N.

    • Ah David – I think I need to do the same! But I shall treasure your comment. It reminds me of a luminous moment form my first ranch trip all those years ago, and one of the reasons the dream is still so powerful today. I was walking back to the house for lunch, after dealing with horses and stuff in the corral. A old friend of the owners was sitting on the porch, and as I walked up, he said ‘There goes a young man without a care in the world.’ Long time since anyone’s said THAT to me!

      I’m glad you found something in this piece, my friend; it certainly helped me draw a line and move on. N.

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