What’s the address? an Advent poem. 2

This poem was written as I looked forward to a continued recovery from two years of serious inflammation of the brain.
The illness has destroyed many memories. Images from the past have helped restore a sense of self and well-being.



Limescale’s fine haze twins

toilet pan and kettle. That’s a record,

not decay; objects taken out and back

into the spaces I inhabit. Must reclaim.

Another sweep, enough to tip me on the carpet;

can’t do more than what I can; can’t enable or

prevent. No need to be – well what’s the word? –

more ratiocinative; what’s content — without a

puppy’s nip, a toddler’s tug. Soon gone, that sun.

Noah’s ark toys pushed into my speakers.

Knowing better may discourage. When cleaning,

only second-best will do. One thing my vacuum abhors is

discarded plastic strips. More mess.



A sandcastle on one beach, left

in a distracted moment; thought-of

all the time: an eye’s blink in one view of God,

holidays that lift us from ourselves and remake

love; there; like sand in old shoes, pocket corners.

Those grains can’t help but be these things they are:

simply creatures born to die; preoccupied; in blinkers.



Unfamiliar accents, prompted actions.

Spare talk of each disputed truth.

Having weather. Noticing in much-used music

counterpoints ignored for years. That dirge

a swelling faith in hope; won’t be as it was.

From here a path, a start, a looping back

in movements all along; no worth or point

to feeling lost; or falling. Should hand-holds fail,

this might cap it, earn a place, a platform:

just, benign, convenient!



Between that meat, those mints, the stuffing.

Windows, guarding privacy, must hold apart

paired terms which being is allowed to be

 – miserable, in pain; a cultic happenstance.

When half the time I feel but cannot say,

while knowing waits on me for speech,

not-quite a joke which doesn’t raise a titter.

Thanks for your nth time reminder that I can’t

lift any kind of spirit to this mouth, become

a ludicrous sub-Coward, nor bitterly-attractive

in any fashion yet. When diffidence speaks ill and

being ill, crushed lemon soothes my tongue,

a swollen gland beneath; that’s fine since, when this

weather breaks, we’ll get outside, but how…

Should I know. They say a cameo reprise could bring

a final flourish. When, having stopped, I lose again.

Grand gestures… That’ll cost you. On a pun’s edge,

Angels; nor any gift for wrapping, entertaining or confiding.

In the bathroom, I skim through part of my family tree.

It ignores my age group and its neighbours…





Adam Clarke-Williams
photos Jane Dunster

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