You are barely sketched, like a catching shutter

A hesitant boy, a man bud

Afraid to blossom, huddled in front of the man you became

Pre-lined face, milky and indistinct like moon mist

Framed for future crimes

In pre-figured recognition, the prequel to me, a déjà view

Seeing what was to become of you

I am the dénoûment, the critical reveal

The given-away ending, the spoiled plot line,

The emotionally illiterate scarline that time didn’t heal

I am the hangpenny amusement machine with all the answers you didn’t ask

teetering on the edge of the questions.

The boy I was didn’t ask for the lies,

The almost dids and the nearly achieved.

You take in the sagging dreams and the could have beens

And the slot machine excuses for the false start CVs,

the blow-out TV dinner repeats and the crippled promises

and you begin to cry

As you watch the train-driving, Trigger-riding, Kryptonite hero

who could have roared through a Beano screech of a life

turn into me, a book at bedtime.

And through smeared vision you begin to understand

That destiny has come to visit today

And given the game away

That the man you will become

has not come to ask for much at all

except one thing.


Roy Stannard 27.10.12

The End of Failing

The End of Failing


The Winter tide nibbles at a toe-dipped shoreline,

Above, the lowering sky grumbles at the lack of light

smudging a moleskin horizon.

A couple embroider loose stitches along the waveline

emerging like creation from the waters

half-way between the depths and the heights,

not quite fact or fiction

holding hands, in comfort as well as exploration.

Your heart asked God to place a pound in your path

if it was meant to be

and he said yes by giving you two.

On the Adur estuary skimming dreams across the surface

counting them as they bounce

not sinking or needing to come up for breath

In the perfect frozen stillness

we watch a lonely cormorant float across the sky

The sun is still a distant promise

but we feel the warmth of future fires igniting

And later in a wind-whipped harbour we watch

the sailing fantasies of absent mariners

moored together for warmth, as the north-east trades

blow us together, forging our shared heart as it shivers into being.

We take photographs, as if present at the birth of a great event

and we follow the currents to Bosham,

reading the runes in the seaweed signatures,

seeing etched

on the gulls-egg horizon

a tale we would not have dared to write

in the oblivion of yesterday

the hope, the honouring of a promise and the end of failing.

Roy Stannard 7.2.12