As timelines go, the last few months have been pretty shocking for me. In August my father died suddenly and unexpectedly, and a month later my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer, and has since been stuck in hospital, as well as having poor mobility to start with. No wonder then that I have neglected my poetry site, and indeed the only poem I have written was the one I read at my Dad’s funeral, which I may or may not post here in future, as it was largely a personal piece. There have been emotions aplenty, but little tranquility in which to allow those emotions to distill into thoughtful and considered language. It comes to us all, and we know it, but when sad events strike they still come nonetheless as a shock to the system.

In any case, I thought it was time to post a poem, and in some ways it is quite appropriate that I should “dig out” one I was toying with this spring, while out walking. I had originally envisaged it as part of a larger piece, and am not even sure if it is finished (like most of my poems!) – but I think it deserves a place here, being as it is a warning, I think, that now is all we can be sure of, and to savour the now, for living for the past or the future can be a dangerous habit when we never know where we might meet our end on the timeline…


Shatter of stumps on the green, thwock of a golf ball,
A girl playful in her own solitary world, a coated horse,
Fields thick with insects, fading doppler of a plane, all
Stir my awareness of this moment in the timeline.

It is our moment, from breath to breath and smile to smile
And kiss to kiss, drinking deep of melting time
As seconds pass and those unaware
Are marked by knowing strangers.

Footsteps carry my senses through conundrums
Of thought as I observe each moment in the timeline
We share, each humming conversation and explosion
And the drone of flies, of cars, of fleeting sights

As swans dip and geese parade. What human
Thoughts are left in the dark as sleep comes to all
Except for the still watcher counting the precious
Moments, knowing that now, this moment

Is the only forever we can know.

4 thoughts on “Timeline

  1. Mr Radcliffe,

    I found ”by accident” your blog and poems, and really appreciate them. I was wondering if eventually you would be open to have them ( like Timeline or Strangers) compose with music?
    I have a friend, which is a musician, and as I know him, he would appreciate and be inspired by your words. No, he doesn’t have any billions, but he is very rich of sensibility and skill, as well as you seem too.

    Thank you for your reply!

  2. Sure, that would be a great idea – have always wanted to do something like that, just never met the right musician 🙂

    Would be happy to publish the results here on the site 🙂

  3. I am left here to die.
    Making my way up the path,
    Recapturing my life,
    My heart,
    The fragments of my once reality
    Then come the demons:
    they take me away,
    they remind me of my pain,
    they rip at my dead heart,
    feeding on my soul,
    taking all that’s left.
    But still I walk this path,
    shattering my dreams,
    the hands that once guided me have gone,
    yet, still I stand,
    walking this lonely path,
    all alone,
    fighting the demons,
    living my illusions,
    looking for the guardian,
    that had my soul…..

  4. Interesting little poem that, sounds quite sinister with the demons and lost souls – have seen it knocking around a few places on the net – anyone know the author or anything about them?

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