Tag Archives: proust

The Kingdom of No More

I have taken a voyage into the past,
And felt the golden kingdom of No More
Fill my body with cheap delight.

I walk by the Seine and remember reading Flaubert
Sitting in cafés, pretending to be an Existentialist.

My youth, the warm days of memory,
I have jumped dangerously into this pool, not realising,
Or not wanting to realise,
The dangerous game I am playing.

Is it cheap, now, cliché, to call them
Madeleine moments,
To smell Paris as it was before,
When summer musk rose from the trees?

Apart from those blue-capped mountains,
What am I looking for?
I tunnel, further and deeper,
Into my mind and try to
Pluck some lost root from a tree
I forgot to plant.

Shut the gate, young man, if you have any sense:
A deal with the past is worse
Than a pact with Satan.
Have you learnt nothing from books?
Have you learnt nothing from Nature?

But the past, the past – it calls
My name and sings a pretty song
To bid me stay a while longer.

Suddenly, I am aware, awake, alone
Inside my room,
Where I see nothing but the frenzied movement
of a fly that was born in earth,
Once more, a flower I did not plant,
But only inherited.

The wave returns, I try to cling to the shore of now, but feel the pull,
I feel the sand rushing behind me,
I hear the rush of a million shells sweep past me,
Giving into that powerful will –
The joy of the past,
The heady world that each creates,
The sickly simplicity of a time that is no more.

When you die, you cannot tell your story and so others will.
You, you as you, will be forgotten.

On the shore, further up, on the cliff,
I hear someone shout “Hector”.
Is this Achilles?
Or is this Homer?