Going Home



Skinny river beckons,
breathing an echo of days when these feet
measured the thin edge a an instant before the leap,
when the landing deftly skipped the breach,
in the days when danger was a game
unfettered by sticks and stones of age,
and gunshot death was fun to feign;
tumbling play that entertained
till hunger called away.

Skinny river
whispers skittering memories,
whisking up a risible sniff of magic, as if
a giggling wish will lift me, and  carry me back
to the beginning that knew no measure
of length or breadth; that imagined
no end.

For an instant
I am loath to leave this empty crypt,
feeling a momentary need to stand sentry,
lest I miss my dusty trinkets,
my piddling, middling strides,
my thin wisp of pride.

if I go, the sky
will again be mine
and I will recognise my hands.
Adult battles of fact and habit
will be banished to the monochromatic land
of flim-flam.
I shall be Ilya, the handsome Man From UNCLE,
my brothers; spies from THRUSH.
My gun will eradicate evil until
it’s time to switch sides and be a baddie.
Naturally, Ilya will shoot me; the Right Side always wins.
Hamming it like a weak comedienne, I’ll expire in traditional style
with agonised grunts, thrashes and sighs,
finally rolling with a splash
into the shallow river
to die.

When dinner arrives,
I will obediently dine,
forever a child.



Inspired by A River Runs Beneath Us, which was written by  Paul at Cafephylos

Written for Word of the Day Challenge: Loath

This is what Bruce has to say about the river…

©Jane Paterson Basil

37 thoughts on “Going Home

  1. Again you amaze me Jane. I absolutely loved your childhood poem,and I was jumping every puddle with you. And of course your music choice is brilliant.
    I seem to be putting music with all my poems lately, I suppose if my poem’s no good they can always listening to the music…

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Good point! That’s true for all of us, isn’t it?

          Just out of curiosity, where are you located if you don’t mind. I’m thinking UK, but it’s early in the morning there.


    1. Thank you Ivor. Writing it took me right back to those days. I know games with guns are frowned on these days, but I loved playing The Man From UNCLE with my brothers, and it was great exercise, running around the fields, learning to fall from hedges and gates without hurting ourselves when we got “shot”. We were all born – and grew up to be – pacifists.

      What do you mean “if your poem’s no good”? Wash your mouth out before I whoop your ass 🙂 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s only just struck me that “device” could be taken to mean a reversal of vice which seems oddly inappropriate whichever way you use the word – vice as in evil, or a tool to hold something firmly. Just a thought…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. oh that’s what makes you such a superb poet, you see and use words so perceptively! There is another poem for you …
        See you ignored my message, just so long as it’s soaking in 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Tortured words, Jane. Butchered meanings. Savaged English, simply savaged. Hated it. Hated every sentence of it. Made me want to puke like a duck.

    But I tell you what.

    Solely out of pity, compassion — absolutely no dreams of financial gain on my part, none at all — I’m willing to buy up everything but the movie rights at this very moment.

    Of course, I don’t expect to pay much of a price for such a loathsome piece. Not one of your best, you know. Not fresh, charming, sweet nostalgic-inducing at all. Piece of trash if you ask me.

    What say I get all for a tenner, and you throw in your entire rest of your pathetic repertoire to make the deal worthwhile?

    You’re not much of a poet, but that’s ok, I’ll always have your back, Jane. You can trust me to level with you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If I hadn’t had my heart surgically removed in order to safeguard myself from fucking up my life once again, I believe I would have fallen in love with you the moment I read your gentle missive. Some poets struggle for a lifetime, and nobody ever offers an ounce of charity.

      You hold a special place in my heart – although, unfortunately, that’s been donated to hump-backed whale so It’s best if you steer clear of the ocean – and I will be forever in your debt.

      I hate to ask, after you’ve been so generous, but you couldn’t sling in another fiver for the film rights, could you? It’s just that… you know… with my habit and all…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. What! You expect me to support a habit? I shall never compromise my high moral capitalist principles, Jane. Not even for you! Hell! Only last year I turned in my 12 year old nephew for underage porn possession.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You know, girlfriend, you have a particular gift for writing this kind of prose. Your words and feelings are always right in your memories. It’s almost as if we are there. (I LOVED The Man From Uncle, btw! Still love David McCullum as Ducky on NCIS.)

    Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve always had a “fear” of blonde men, believe it or not. Have had many nightmares over the years about blonde men. Imagine my absolute surprise then when Legolas rode onto the screen in Rivendell in Lord of the Rings and I fell instantly in love! His nibs was totally amazed! LOL

            Liked by 2 people

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