Poem Of The Week 'Taking Stock' by John Liddy
“Travellers, there is no path,
paths are made by walking.”
With half the Appian Way
behind us, let me conduct
some honest inventory,
measure what is still intact.
My sons are quiffing-up
for dance floors barred to me,
their mother readies her cinema
Self to leave me to my reality.
I watch in awe how life slips
through my fingers, subtle
as needles knitting new stories,
know why the inevitable
Is not worth the effort of futile
contemplation, why we endure
the weight on thin shoulders,
love on despite erosion.
Allow me to fix on the personal,
the art in what is uniquely found
because of casual destiny,
simple scenes but universal.
That first taste of deception—
footing the miserable road home
out of Dublin after Van's
walk-off and we still listening.
Or that bicycle tour of the West,
noted but lost, still haunting
like Connemara fields,
our tent a classroom of free-talk
Without teachers amidst the Aran
schoolhouse ruin, the stroll back
from MacPhadraig's public house
after a night of music and craic
'As gaelge' between the famine
dead lit by a touchable moon,
or those abandoned boots beside
a sparse tree in Spiddal.
Other matters demand attention
but we choose what to ignore,
the private cravings of the heart,
a lame excuse for war.
No. I will leave them aside
to concentrate on bare essentials.
Such stock makes truth of our lives,
not headlined but what survives.
I have paced enough of the house
like a dog in search of its spot
to bury its bone, it is time to sit
and write this down.