Alternative histories

I find myself surrounded now
By millions drenched in pure nostalgia –
One hundred per cent proof against
The world they see as forced upon them –
For a time and country they never knew
That like Arcadia or Atlantis
Is all the more beguiling
For never having been.
Their wish to rewrite and rewind our history
And fervent fealty to their imagined glory
Have won for them the crown and flag
I used to see as mine as well
And in so doing made a shell-shocked fiction
Of all I thought I knew.
And so I will allow myself
A little longing of my own
For another life I never lived
And, had it been handed to me then
Would probably have refused
As one too frightened, small, suburban
For something so grand, hard-edged, expansive.
So permit me a moment’s misty-eyed
Far-back-reaching, sadly sighing
Regret for all I never was
And in all honesty, humility and likelihood
Never could have been.

2 thoughts on “Alternative histories

  1. Yep, nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, as a wise man once said. Our ‘leaders’ and those who vote for them are now so utterly unshipped from reality it’s almost funny: they really don’t (or won’t) see the world as it is, only as they want it to be and think it ought to be. Trouble is there’s no way of removing them, and the rest of us have to live with the consequences. Which is why I’m increasingly finding myself imagining alternative existences that have nothing to do with this one. If you can’t beat ’em…

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