I watched in wonder – lines for 55 years

I celebrated my 55th birthday recently….there is a lot of horror and awfulness in the world. I don’t necessarily want to avoid contemplating it, but sometimes it is good – if you are fortunate enough to do so – to stand back and simply drink in the magic. That, for me, is life really – as the late, great Lou Reed would have it “Magic and Loss”.

 

I WATCHED IN WONDER,  AS……

 

The clear blue sky was split by green leafed tree

I looked at the painting of the Cornish Belle that hangs in my office

We watched 2 crested grebe dipping,  and a swan on the nest, from the sanctuary of our hotel balcony

We flew down into Treorchy, apparently arriving by runway, the car a magic carpet, splitting the mildly misted darkness of a November night

Eric Bibb, troubadour extraordinaire, cool hatted and sharply suited, took to the stage where his godfather once sang, for the delight of miners abounding

Lowri Evans and her band set down tunes in the Land of Song

And Leonard Cohen “danced Cardiff to the end of love” on and on

Prior to that,  Bruce Springsteen rocked and swayed and sang, apparently never ending

I devoured my new Norman Rockwell birthday gift book and donned a brand new shirt, homage to the station wagon

The smoke rose frail and fronded above the Port Talbot factory smokestacks, curling upward, skylined cloud

Rainstorms sweetly savaged the still spring air

The dogs and I discovered a new path, abundant with bluebell and nettles, and a new bridge – uncrossable as yet, and “Fern Hill not accessible”, but the apology surely not necessary

The three of us were knocked out, side split by the Love Punch

And tonight it is the turn of Godzilla

I passed by London Bridge, Moorgate, Bank and Old Street, bento box lunch and a stroll in the sunshine

Not doing the Lambeth Walk, but been there now, Roots and Shoots and all

I watched Debbie Harry and Blondie – 40 years on

And saw the last ever episode of M.A.S.H. bleary eyed, watching Hawkeye

I went West once more

I drank coffee, black, sweet and strong – no palpitations

I made a bow to Sir John Betjeman’s statue

I took lunch in the Pleasure Garden, Bonnington Square,

Greece, Turkey, England, Wales – all duly represented there

We walked the woods, wreathed in wild garlic, lilac and columbine pinks

Saw a peacock – it’s tail fully fanned and luminescent – no cameras, but I am graced with a memory

I got a shy smile from a man begging

and earned a gap toothed grimace from a gypsy musician

I stayed at the new home of old friends and found fresh features in previously unexplored and ageing streets

Heard new music from Brazil and Canvey Island – smokey jazz and the dynamite explosion of rhythm and blues

The lime trees were resplendent and green gorged in the morning light

A smouldering sunset topped Dinas Head

My niece, still new and unexpected, gurgled and chimed over the Facetime pages and gave her newly homed father a smile, that unfolded in delighted stages

I began the journey through ‘Americanah’ already relishing these recommended pages

Derren Brown amazed, perplexed and transfixed us – maybe even sent us away mildly hypnotised

A new car growled and spat and bore us southwards

Sussex and Kent span by

I learned that maybe I liked Rudyard Kipling after all – Just So

A nuthatch joined our café table

Earlier a tortoise had blown in my ear  and then raced off, as much as that is possible

Work went on and I was lucky to love it

I read the emerging story, the fourth instalment unfolding, the characters captivating, the humour intact

A first rate novelist burnishing her form, died in the wool talent, as a matter of fact

Today I watched my breath unfurl in the mid May morning air

Some time ago we were transfixed by the 2 horses in the field behind, wildly, joyfully galloping, ground breaking and tail streaming bannered

The cawl was good, the craick too

As 55 years gone by were remarked, cards, presents and abundant good wishes

A life graced by good fortune, great friendships, by hugs and by kisses

I have lived these last years, silver ringed and golden gated

Enriched and involved, connected , sated

I celebrated, oh, how I celebrated.

 

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7 Comments on “I watched in wonder – lines for 55 years”

  1. robwcrompton says:

    Happy birthday – belated.

  2. stew1e says:

    Belated Best Birthday Wishes, Marc; you’re right – you’ve been blessed! I can recommend Kipling’s “The Way Through the Woods”.

  3. Deborah says:

    Your coming into this world is cause for great celebration – so many lives blessed and enriched by your presence, not least mine.

  4. helen carey says:

    Here’s hoping 56 is just a good!

  5. Ian says:

    Marc, thank you for this. I, too, have recently turned 55, and this has made me realise that I’m trying to pack too much in without really taking time to stop and think and soak it all up. We met on a ferry from Morocco to Tarifa (more than 5 years ago); we only spent a short time together, but you and Helen made a big impression.

    • Hello Ian
      Every now and then the wonder of the Internet overtakes me – we have often talked about meeting you on that trip and it is brilliant to hear from you. Are you ever down this (Pembrokeshire) way – be good to see you. Helen can be found on http://www.helencareybooks.co.uk Take care – and here’s to the next 55 years hey?! Marc

  6. June R Mordey says:

    Friday morning and just read”55 years”) On the morning you were born I remember thinking,You my son are truly special. As you looked at me your eyes spoke volumes and seemed to tell me that you already knew what life meant.I have been blessed by your love and friendship over these years and filled with many emotions as I read your poetry because it confirms what I felt on that special day.
    keep writing, and keep blessing many with words that speak to our hearts,in a world that needs them.
    Little Mother.


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