Sunday, August 24, 2014

Once upon a happier time

This week's words at The Sunday Whirl  are:-
stutter, cliff, rickety, bones, cart, absence,rift, flight, longing, sustain, baffles, language

A lone figure hobbled up the grassy slope towards the edge of the white chalk cliff. A pathetic sight; thin, hunched and draped in torn, worn grubby clothes. With stick-like arms he dragged a rickety cart, almost empty, his worldly possessions. He trudged closer and closer to edge, stuttering and babbling in another language. He stopped inches from the sheer drop. Hundreds of feet below the frothing waves crashed over the rocks, beckoning him, tempting him to join them.

He sat to relieve his aching bones. All around squawking gulls swooped and dived. He watched wishing that he too had the gift of flight and was able to launch his soul skyward and look down on what he had become. Perhaps I can he thought. Perhaps I can.

He stared out across the pale blue ocean. There on the distant horizon, he could just make out the beaches of his beloved France. Pierre came here from France long long ago. In the early years he had a good life, a new family. But not a real family. And since everyone and everything that had mattered drifted away, a deep longing had grown inside him to return to the land of his fathers. But he was stubborn. For so many years he refused to mend the rift between him and his true family. They knew not why. His choice of sustained absence and isolation still baffles them.

Today, at the cliffs edge sits a little wooden cart wheel. Between the rotting spokes French marigolds grow, their golden blossoms gazing out towards the coast of France. That little wheel is all that remains of Pierre. Somebody brought it up from the rocks below, perhaps someone who knew Pierre once; once upon a happier time.

Picture Beachy Head, Eastbourne. c.keithsramblings

Footnote: I live close to Beachy Head but sadly its beauty is overshadowed by its notoriety as a venue for scores of people each year from all over the UK wishing to bid the world farewell.


  1. Dark and yet sometimes we perhaps don't appreciate that we all must belong to something, somebody at some time...I hope he flew further than Icarus.

  2. Good of you to offer the Linky! I know that Brenda has been having some Internet issues, so that's no doubt what's going on.

    I wish, however, that you would get rid of that pesky word/number verification. It's really annoying! :)

    1. I wasn't aware I had it! I hate it too.

    2. Sorry about that - should be gone now. Thanks for pointing it out.

  3. The past always calls us back like a siren's call. What better way to end it than to fly to oblivion.
    P.S. I noticed that many Sunday Whirl participants posted on Poets United site too in desperation, as did I!

  4. I just think like in saying: it's impossible to enter the water twice...longing for what was in the past, but since then so much happened, he got a new family.....and life at the other side, in Paris has changed too....he can be disappointed ~ loved the rhythm, I can hear the rumbling cart's sound... nice :) ~ thanks for visiting/commenting~ happy week~

  5. A sad story of longing well written A beautiful picture as well

  6. It's funny that is kinda what I wrote about, and my partner didn't think I should post it, thought it might be too offensive. I liked your piece. Maybe I'll post mine?

    1. Go on - go for it! They are such regular occurrences where I live that even the local paper doesn't often report them. Sad.

  7. I hope Pierre can be put back together again.



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