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    The Tales of Youth

On Christmas Eve I go up to bed

And I have a little cry:

Sixty-five years of loneliness

And I have to wonder why.

‘Tis the season to be jolly

- Or so that we are told -

But here and now I feel no joy

Now that I grow old.

Looking back, I think once more

Of those I used to know

- Or of those I used to love

A love I could not show.

The emptiness a deeper pit

And harder still to bear

The tales of youth ring hollow now

And harder now to share.


         Burning Paper

It matters not the time of day

Morning, noon or night

No warning call is given out,

- It suddenly appears.

Just at first a little sniff

Announces its arrival

Then pungent, deep and stinging,

- Soon it’s over-powering.

The smell of burning paper

Acrid, sharp and thick

Gets in to the nostrils

- And fills the brain with fear.

Sometimes just a fleeting smell

Quickly come and gone

Recognised for what it is:

- A figment of the mind.

Other times it lingers more

Playing with the senses

Filling up the eyes with tears,

- Bitter on the tongue.

There is no burning paper

No reason for the dread,

Just the frenzied workings

- Of a damaged temporal lobe.