Poem 121 – This Time

This morning’s prompt
A photo from this date
Taken a previous year

A smiling face looks out
I watch you past, eyes meeting
The younger you responds

This frozen moment lives
Superimposed on others
The album of our life

The weft and weave of time
The strands that cross the years
Entwining us together

Every morning my phone reminds me of photos taken this day in previous years. Today’s featured an arresting look at the camera as you walked past.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 114 – Fading

Here lies the stone that stood above my grave
Declaring this to be my resting place
But sadly it no longer has the strength
To stand and lies prostrate in peace like me

The lichen spreads rash-like across its face
Obliterating with the green ivy
My life, my wife, my children and my work
The final thoughts of those who paid the bill

Now who I was is legible no longer
As gradually the elements erode
The once clear words that hold me so
I slip from view and slowly pass from memory

We’ve been away for a few days, exploring my wife’s family tree. This involves visiting graveyards and poking around ancient churches. Straining to read old gravestones I wondered how we’re remembered when the writing’s finally gone.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 106 – Memory

Not all bridges are forged in sweat and steel
Nor do they all traverse the globe but some
Convey us by our dreams and thoughts
Down secret passages unique to us

A scent transports us back to musty classrooms
Or changing rooms, slick with rowdy teenage bodies
Forgotten fragrances summon unbidden the past
Awakening lost relationships with force

The taste of lamb and fresh mint sauce steals me
To Sunday lunches at my grandparents’
The sound of knives chopping the herb just picked
With acid tang of vinegar poured over

Opening the photo album I’m once again
Surrounded by the Austrian Alps of Mayrhofen
I see you smiling at me from the lake
And savour afresh our early wedded life

These bridges are not solid in construction
As their physical counterparts may be
But shift as tidal waves flow on the sand
Capricious and yet precious in their rarity

My earlier poem about Brunel’s suspension bridge originally had other bridges in view. The discounted concept reappeared today.

© Ben Quant 2022

Poem 22 – Are We Not All Heroes?

This summer we made pilgrimage
Briefly escaping Covid’s shadow
Blinking as we entered the light
Of Cardiff’s sun kissed halo

There with the tentative throng
We explored its proud sites
From the castle idiosyncratic
To mist veiled surrounding heights

We marched around it’s harbour
Leaning into the red dragon’s breath
That blew across boat filled waters
Our path encompassing its breadth

But as we walked we paused awhile
By a shrine with trinkets bedecked
Left in honour of a hero lost
By earnest admirers memory kept

Who was this man, what was his merit
The deeds that demand such respect?
Why Ianto Jones they did reply
Welshman of Torchwood, most adept

Puzzled I left for I knew of him
For he had graced my screens
A hero not of real life, you see
Concocted in another’s dreams

How can the death of one not living
Made up, existing just in story
Capture the imagination of those who watch
Achieving real life glory?

What of us I wondered as we left
Who battle daily to survive
Without such glamour yet endeavours true
Will our memories remain alive?

This summer we managed to take a holiday just outside Cardiff, a city I’d never visited before. I loved it, especially its castle whose eccentric internal decor was a wonderful surprise after its traditional outer shell. As a sci-fi fan I insisted on visiting Ianto’s shrine, a tribute to the character in the Doctor Who spin-off, Torchwood, who topically dies as a result of being exposed to a lethal virus. Seemed surreal that a character in a TV-drama should garner such respect when so many true heroes go unnoticed.


© Ben Quant 2021