Turning the pages

I composed the one below some twenty years ago. I was sitting in Riyadh airport waiting for the red eye to London. I was even then considering our future; whether to stay on fighting the good money fight, based in Hampshire and the Middle East, or whether to uproot ourselves, Dee and me our two dogs to Wester-Ross. There I might write, there I might paint, there we might more properly just live. After all, as another of my verses declaims, 'To live is more than just to be.'

Perhaps I was feeling defeated for the first time in my life; some contract or other gut-wrenchingly lost? So important I can't remember it?

Time to finish: time to begin
Swift circling watch-hands time your tension
rising in the sea of hard hurt faces;
but every hour’s one nearer to your pension
and no more need to fill those empty spaces
with challenges, your stomach churning,
whilst slower, lower is your spirit’s flight
o’er fires of failure hotly in you burning
that scorch each day and panic every night.
oh man, take time to watch the chasing cloud,
touch all that matters, lie the grassy lea,
and smell the creamy earth-turn freshly ploughed
remembering now the boy you used to be;
the boy who eager turned the pages of each day -
why now so keen to put your book away?

A few years later we took the decision. Stop what you're doing. Start that which you have long enough wanted to do. Have courage ... as now I look out over a sunlit Loch Ewe and its surrounding ampitheatre of distant hills I know the decision was right for us. And even though I now have no Delia and no Mati and no Sorosh I know I would rather be nowhere else on this good Earth.

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