Tag Archives: eternity

The Fabric of a Life


What size is a life?
Laid out flat how many miles
would all the thoughts, desires and acts,
the books you read, the things you said,
the mental images in your head
stretch across the sky?

Would missed opportunities leave gaps
through which the stars would shine at night?

And when your time has come to die,
does this fabric that you made
slowly crumble day-to-day
as those who knew you forge ahead,
and memories slowly fade away,
till loved ones join you with the dead?

Or does it stay forever fresh,
existence caught within a mesh,
never seen but ever present,
evoking all you represent.

For good or evil are you there,
invisible and unaware,
your history weaving in the air
amid the billions gone before,
in age and infancy, peace and war?

And if the atmosphere retains
all those thoughts in all those brains
eternally, to never leave,
are you in the air we breathe?

Do all the joys and all the pains,
all the losses, all the gains,
all the errors, all the wisdom,
all the strengths and inhibitions
invoke a change in our decisions?


©Jane Paterson Basil

Before my memory

My father’s roll of selotape
was slightly rippled, as if from the damp
and I couldn’t remember a time
when it had looked any different.
Although he used it, it never seemed to shrink.

One day he told me it had been in his possession
for twenty years,
thereby joining a reel of elastoplast
and a plethora of other items
for which he claimed two decades.

I had lived for less than half that period, and yet
my past was an indefinable eternity;
with markers where I had achieved so many things.
I had learned to read;
broken my ankle;
gashed my head open against a stone wall;
and climbed the singing tree,
to swing on a branch with my brother Neil.

I examined my father’s roll of selotape
and concentrated until my head hurt
in an effort to imagine any kind of existence
before my memory;
but all I could see was a blank, leaden space
with neither sun, moon or stars to brighten the sky.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The wisdom of Eternity


so how are you now?
if death is kind you do not rest in peace,
you were given too little joy on earth for that to be your fate –
maybe you’ll do it later
when your need for fun is fulfilled.

I hear your laughter echo in the distance
as you direct naughty winds to silly, harmless deeds,
lifting policemens’ hats from their heads;
playing tricks with impish glee;
dropping feathers on my shoulder
to see how long they cling;
stealing rides on tops of trains;
altering the colours of hidden underwear;
opening buds, that  petals may gleam in the wrong season;
flying to distant lands that only live in dreams,
to return when the moon is on the wane.
smiling with the wisdom of eternity,
as you stroke the hair from our sleeping faces,
wishing to ease away the vestiges of pain
and yet knowing, as we do not
that within the backdrop of all that is
our hurt is but a little thing.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Everlasting Flower

A little bit of romance is my choice for today’s Writing 201 Poetry assignment. It’s an ode about a valuable item tucked away in a drawer, with apostrophe garnish.


forty years have flown since I devotedly fixed it
to the wall by my bed,
near where my head rested
its physical form has long since crumbled
but tucked in a drawer
at the back of my brain

far away from the everyday forefront clutter
still lives that
rose in its organic glory

cupping our story within its proud petals
which whisper
within me when, in the night
insecurities imprison me, impinge on my sanity
and knowledge
of evil keeps me awake

I did not forsake you my rose of devotion
though our love was outlawed
I’ve been ever true

and though to eternity we shall be parted
and never again
may I see your face
all these long years our love everlasting
has cradled me safely
within its embrace

© Jane Paterson Basil