photo of Anthony J Ball

Old Man


The wheels on my chair are locked, 

forcing an unwanted view 

through a reflecting window pane. 

The reflection shows me mine.

A stranger's face 

with skin etched in wrinkled lines, 

like roads on a map, 

but all routes lead to misery.

I was once a happy man.


My mind is trapped inside a useless shell, 

no strength to lift my limbs or spirits.

My attire unflattering and revealing, 

it lets in the cold that chills these old bones. 

Dignity is lost to the ravaging of time's power.

I was once a proud man.


Shining against the dullness of retirement 

that is now my home,

 my medal of valour. 

Achieved fighting for a war to save what we had, 

but not worth what we have now.

I was once a fighting man

 

I am alone

Surrounded by the ghosts of my past 

that smile on through faded photographs.

My family has abandoned me 

as I have become a burden, 

my advanced age 

dragging down the joyful progression of their youth.

My wife Aurora disassembled long ago, 

dementia clouded her mind 

and cancer untimely robbed her health.

In her final moment she spoke a word 

so softly but sickly, 

she asked me: "who are you?"

In her demise she no longer remembered, 

but I will never forget.

I was once a married man


Too many friends, and hours to the clock now passed…

I accept that only I will know mine.

Too long have I waited for my turn to end, 

I'm tired, and I have earned my rest. 

I have never asked for much in this life lord, 

but I ask this of you now...

no more today's, 

send the Reaper to come take me away. 

I am a tired old man. 

 

Transcended and reunited with those I had lost, 

friends and family come smiling to greet me, 

and the stories of my past shared.

I am proud again.

With my wife side by side we drift, 

now a part of the ether.

My body no longer limits movement 

and my dignity is fully restored. 

Happiness is an Earthly word

that just doesn't do it justice

     I was once a man.

 

Take me back


How long do I have to stand,

 and feel the weight of the world 

rotate out of control.

 The poor mental health,

 and suicidal death trends 

growing to epidemic levels.

Crime spreading across the globe 

like the Coronavirus, 

within the congestion of a fearful civilisation,

breaking my faith in humanity 

with their vacant civility.

Taking all that they can, 

and leaving nothing for those who follow.


When we're young they shield us from the truth.

Keeping the dark underbelly of the world 

from a juvenile eye.

They feed us fairytales, and tell sweet lies.

As they prepare us for the day 

when we grow past our youth.

When we learn that Monsters really do exist.


I wish to go back to that time.

 Before life has consumed me in its strife.

Alive and joyful in my childhood innocence.

Breathing Ignorance in a world 

that now chokes my will to live.

A time predating the fear of paying bills, 

and offspring development.

When life was not a burden 

on the strain of my heart.


I want to go back.

 

 Dream 


In my dream I am free,

Free from the limitations of my corporeal body.

I rise from the soil, 

levitating above the Earth 

that chokes on man's pollution, 

I ascend above his game. 

Free from utter greed and stupidity.

The birds look at me with envy as I glide so gracefully. 

For now I am allowed to be something more than what my form dictates.

But this feeling does not last. 

My invisible wings are clipped 

and I descend back down to earth. 

To rejoin a society 

that makes me feel less than something. 

I do not want to return to the hands 

that reach out below, 

to pull me back into life's monotonous routine.


I am caught like a fish in a net, 

but my captor is you.

I see no need to fear 

as your eyes tell me all that I need to know.


I may be just a man again 

but I am loved like I am more, 

this world may have a twisted path 

but I know that I do not walk it alone. 

Hand in hand we walk into the darkness 

bringing light in our step.

Isolation


Blue skies darken to reveal twilight stars.

An endless cycle repeating. 

But days merge without significance,

when isolation brings monotony.


Lockdown, our windows like iron bars,

 prisoners contained within our own homes.

The doors are open, 

but fear keeps them closed.

No choice but to hide 

from the invisible killer.

 But nature is still free.


Tree branches wave in empty silent streets.

Leaves roam where feet now dare to tread.

Birds exempt from restriction or curfew

Bring jealousy to mind.

  

Clap for the NHS tonight.

Spare a minute to remember the dead.

Tomorrow I’ll spread my last morsel of butter,

as the virus continues it’s spread, 

throughout the coming days.


We’re running out of patience,

We’re running out of supplies, and friends.

Not all are the religious sort, 

but we’re all praying for an end.


Bring us back the living normality

The schools, The work, The dead.


Bring us back Life.