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  • Martin Wardley

What now?

Sitting with acknowledged privilege, here on this lounger

Floundering while gazing out over a turquoise Aegean Sea

Trying to process

What just happened to me:

The sting of the past years cuts deep

And screams at my sleep

And demands answers

Seeks resolution

And absolution


Three years ago

We moved back North

After decades in the Capital and the South-West

Doing what we did best

But drawn by the need for a change

A decision made in haste

During a heady weekend in Hoxton

There were various reasons

And some logic

But it would also afford an opportunity

The possibility to connect

A possibility I welcomed

With both warm anticipation

And nervousness apprehension

We had history

We had form

We had scars


Within a period of 18 months, they had both passed

Both suddenly, both with little warning

And both with no time to say

Any meaningful goodbyes

And no time

For any final exchange


At a loss I visited the home

In which I was born

A two-bed end-terrace

In Accrington (exactly!)

Their first home

Their tender age

Their confrontation

My foundation

I don’t know what I sought

Or what memories I would find

But answers were scarce

Solutions not forthcoming

So, I walked around the block

Over the still-remaining cobblestones

Past the front railings

Now adorned with pleasantry

Blooming plants

Plants I don’t remember

Colours I can’t recall

The community is now changed

As has their God

But community is what community is

As it was

And from there I recall

The good times of growth

And the bleak times of regression

We left when I was seven

Still within the county boundaries

Still within East Lancs.

But now with fields and football

And hills and riverbanks

A small boy’s freedom

An outdoor Nirvana

A bleak and rain swept heaven

Bliss

While the house remained a challenge

As others did

I sought solace in all of this


The crossing of swords

The wailing through walls

The reconciliations

The rehabilitations

The competition

The repetition

My being shares this nature

And now too the nurture

I fail to know one from the other

What from myself?

What from my father and mother?

Some are the beautiful and the useful

The tools that I use

Others are albatrosses

Millstones, baggage

Dragging round my failings like a fumbling fool


And tomorrow with love and pain we leave them

Scattered to the soil and the air

In gloom and in shadows I will take myself there

But I am proud of who I am

Warts, scars, ugliness, malevolence

Benevolence, beauty, mind, humour, heart, soul, and all

And I have you two to thank

As you depart

With all I have in my sobered heart


“We all have two lives and the second starts when we realise, we only have one”


I’ve realised


It started


And what now?



8th June 2022

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