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The Return

A house that was a home Familiar foundation no longer my oasis Carport shelters modern interloper Casting a shadow in the sunlight On my reminiscence Side by side with my fathers workshop Concrete castle, Centre of creativity Long ago abandoned by his tools His willing accomplices of craft His vice and lifelong addiction

Retracing childhood footsteps Trainers squelch in muddy passage of time Following in my own footsteps I walk the path of my former adventures Amidst a world of woods and fields Scattered landmarks of my imagination Castles and watchtowers defended With courage and honour My lands my kingdom my realm Stretched far as my younger legs strode

Waterfalls, waterwheels, caves and ponds. Concealed behind bramble and nettle Ruins ruined but, my mind resurrected Waterwheel a skeleton of rust Former harness of natural power Stands aloof, with rugged charisma A wheel reinvented as climbing frame I took my turn, its turn long past At the edge of the green pool caught In a fisherman’s glare as he angled for quiet

Derelict mines and its shaft, Trolls abode Now ringfenced by barbed wire Beset only by badgers whose forage Left trails in the undergrowth Smokeless chimneys stacked high Peer across the treetops, silent sentries Camouflaged bound by the ivy A patient climber that reached for the sky Pellets of undigested prey at the base Clues to the nocturnal hunter perched above

Outposts of my empire long since over-run By hordes of commuting settlors Whose self-build trafficked for profit From the second home owners Former School and Post Office Converted to holiday homes A diluted community unaware Of the village enduring heritage Explored and mapped in my youth The monuments of memory lane

Looking down at the surge of chill water Shuffling urgently over the stones On the bridge where I hooked my first trout Its solid planks gnawed by Chronos Teeth My recall angles for history’s echoes The river of time flows in one direction Remorselessly carrying us downstream Eroding its banks choosing its own course I hold on to my cartography My source still plotted in my heart and mind

Footstep by footstep I return to my origin What I wouldn’t give to juxtapose As the clock calls loved ones to assemble To the Saturday family dinner table Welcomed by the heart warming aroma Freshly baked steak filled pastry delight Crimped by my mothers diligent digits Washed down by family small talk I stand outside the haven of my youth Taking stock I mingle in my memories.

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