A Triumvirate of Poems: This Passing Age, To Let, Too Much Steam [ by John RC Potter ]
This Passing Age
We spend our lives being followed by a shadow,
A spectre we try hard to run from, to escape;
we turn suddenly, to try to fix it in our minds
but it’s not there, escaping before being caught.
We can never find it, never hold it in our grasp,
for it is not outside us but somewhere within;
we should not fear it and yet we always do
because we fear what we don’t know: ourselves.
We feel this shadow breathing down our necks,
as it slowly entwines us, first body and then soul;
we think it is the shadow of death lingering there
when it is really the ghost of something greater.
We run from this entity as we would from death,
for it can bring both power and pain in one bite;
we have loved and lost and then felt the passion
and in doing so we have died on different levels.
We cannot forever avoid what lies just beyond us,
yet we can try to circumvent what lies just ahead;
we would do almost anything to stave off this pain
but first we must make it through this passing age.
Few words are spoken yet
looks always say the most;
we live life in the shadows
smiles hiding the inner ghost.
There was a time in the near past
when I needed you to help me know;
but I realize even now that I
love you enough to let you go.
There are truths you will never admit
and lies that into your soul have grown;
you would say anything to keep me and yet
a field of lies must be reaped after sown.
If I accept you as you are now without change
I will doom us both to a life without peace;
one lie will join another and yet another
and the shadows of deceit will never cease.
Such a charade should not be allowed to go on
and sometimes a friend can appear to be a foe;
but the hardest truth I have ever confronted
is that now I love you enough to let you go.
Too Much Steam
The memory of you rises behind me
as if in a gauze-covered dream;
a little smoke, ascending curls of dust
and altogether too much steam.
You are just a mystery to me
or at least now it would seem;
but mysteries fade with time,
having the illusion of a dream.
However, memories and mysteries
now have no place here with me;
I look to the day when through dust
and smoke and steam I begin to see.
John RC Potter is an international educator from Canada, living in Istanbul. He has experienced a revolution (Indonesia), air strikes (Israel), earthquakes (Turkey), boredom (UAE), and blinding snow blizzards (Canada), the last being the subject of his story, “Snowbound in the House of God” (Memoirist, May 2023). His poems, stories, essays, and reviews have been published in a range of magazines and journals, most recently in Blank Spaces, (“In Search of Alice Munro”, June 2023), Literary Yard (“She Got What She Deserved”, June 2023), Freedom Fiction (“The Mystery of the Dead-as-a-Doornail Author”, July 2023), The Serulian (“The Memory Box”, September 2023) & The Montreal Review (“Letter from Istanbul”, November 2023). His story, “Ruth’s World” (Fiction on the Web, March 2023) has recently been nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Prize.