Learning to Swim

But aren’t you the one that loaded the gun?

It’s you.

You went out looking for bullets,

put them in the chamber

and gave the gun to her.

You taught her how to aim

then put yourself in the crossfire.

Why then do you mourn your own death?

Unlearning a body that you had once learned takes longer than you thought it would. Having heard that it’s hard and painful you have imagined this as hyperbole. Surely, it is as easy as anything else. But nothing else is easy, and Aerosmith know that falling in love is hard on the knees. It becomes a particular headache when you actively looked for this love. For this thing that would have you spinning and pulling all kinds of sacrifice to create an awareness. But sacrifice is only a word to be used, and two forces often destroy each other in order to begin from the ashes. You were never ready to live, but you weren’t sure if you were ready to die either.

Two winds blew over the desert.

One came carrying the news of love

once found mapped out

at the bottom of a treasure box that was lost

at sea.


The over carrying the news of love

written in the ink

of a thousand histories.


Two winds blew over a desert,

raising dust as they raced towards each other.


Blinded by the storm

we continued to try and make our way forward.

Sometimes it’s easier to keep going than to stop and analyse the situation. Moving creates the illusion of progress. This is the basic principle upon which the treadmill was invented. The same principle that seems to apply now. Having spent so long running, you know nothing more than to run even when you can clearly see the landscape around you refusing to change. Change, no more of an illusion than the reality that has been presented to us.

No one’s sure when it happened. Somewhere between moving and unmoving something broke. And, in this breaking, not only was there living – there were forms of death that you knew would come, but were not ready for (is anyone ever ready or does life, like everything else, bully its way into happening in its own time?) Of course, if someone had been keen enough to know to track and analyse then the moments of breaking would have been clearer and more documented. But, in the name of progress, you chose to keep running. And you’re very fit.

The image of the oasis

as a mirage

has been in more cartoons

than I can count.


Still, when it gets too hot,

it’s easier to see water

where only dust exists,

whipped up by oblivious winds.

Everyone talks about falling in love. But, like any deep dark hole, the difficult part is scaling the walls out. So instead you sit, waiting for someone to throw you some rope.

“Any Greek can get you into a labyrinth

But it takes a hero to get out of one

What’s true of labyrinths is true of course

Of love and memory. When you start remembering.”

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