how long it’s been (25/July/18)

how long
how long
how long it has been since
this happened then and that happened when
and for what I was there
and for what I was not
it seemed such a long
such a long time again ago
and just getting longer and further away
further
and further
and further away
becoming a memory, history, past,
a time when a time was different from now
when then was the now
but now it is not
collecting dust
preening in rust
forming a crust in the back of my mind
what was I
where was I
who was I then
and am I the same since how long it’s been
I thought I would write
a semblance of prose
without any reason, planning or rhyme
but now it’s become
a trickle of lines
in search of a hint of
the curse of the verse
when all that I wondered was
how long it’s been
since this happened then and that happened when
surprised by the years
flowing like water
troubled and otherwise
under the bridge
but now I don’t know where I started.

© 2018 robert greig

trippin’ (20/July/18)

I’ve been trippin’……

… down memory lane, that is, not sure I’d recommend it especially as a form of therapy although to some rebirthing seems to be and isn’t that just the same thing, following the breadcrumbs, retracing ones steps only to find some bugger’s got there first with a clean broom…. it’s a double-edged sword though, mind your step, mind the gap, and while you’re at it mind your manners and most definitely mind how you go, it’s a veritable minefield of remembered, half-remembered, half forgotten, long forgotten, woebegotten, ill-gotten fancy-free and fanciful and oh my god I really had that hair… though not so much the latter in my case having lost most of mine slightly prematurely…. in fact it’s not unlike trying to find follicles on a bald pate, few needles or even straw in tis haystack…… wondering where they are now, not my follicles, they’re gone with the wind, names, how many are even still alive (again, not my follicles, they’re dust to dust)…..
… I suppose it was the sudden appearance of this Alumni magazine from my old alma mater in the heady days and daze of the ‘undergrad years’ …… it was fairly intense, much a blur, manic and wayward, starting as one thing and ending another, a constant battle of balance between academia and hedonism… I definitely gave the scales a headache… all the best intentions became increasingly unintentional as I stumbled and fumbled and bumbled from one clue to the next not really wondering what would happen next until it happened next and by then there was another next on the horizon lurking and looming……
… I went as a mature student, the only way given the normal path of educational attainment wasn’t shiningly educationally attained so I slipped in under the wire on age while feigning maturity, or a definition of…… I suppose I’m just nosy, wanting to know what happened next with anyone I knew, even though embarrassingly I don’t even remember all their names… shocking!…… faces yes, mostly, sometimes I never even knew their full name, just a first or a nickname so reclaiming them from my wonky historical hangover would be somewhat Herculean… who am I kidding, there’s little hope really but… you never know… actually it’s the obituaries in the back of the magazine that spurred this, not an auspicious beginning to a quest I realise as time crashes inexorably onward they become increasingly going, going, gone….
… but why even bother?… I should kept notes, a regular diary perhaps, details, dates and yes names, took more photos… hindsight is a wonderful if not annoying reminder to what’s irretrievable…… they say we should always learn from the past, well, this is mine, the good, the bad, the ugly, or part of it anyway…… they also say curiousity killed the cat, though I am puzzled as to why that should be the case, but reason, logic, definitely overrated……

© 2018 robert greig

confessions of a… milk float (9/May/18)

no, this isn’t a new follow-up script for the tacky, sexist, libido-driven 1970’s so-called comedy movie franchise which had to be up there (or down there) with one of the worst sequels of movies ever, cringe-worthy to say the least though some apologists will argue they were “of their time”… they were and they should stay in their time… anyway, again, where was I?…. oh yes, sorry dear reader I do have the tangent-habit…… I remember the milkman of old, “back in the day” as they say, up and about even before the postmen and women and that’s saying something, no slacker was the milkman, and they were mostly men as it happened so I’m not being exclusive here…… scooting around on their, what must have been the first battery-charged electric vehicles, milk floats, ‘float’ being a general word for any delivery vehicle and were originally horse-drawn though that was before my day being even more way back in the day…… every day you could reliably wake up knowing if you’d run out of milk, or indeed bread, for breakfast there it’d be delivered too and sitting on your doorstep, hoping of course the blue tits hadn’t got to the foil top first for a peck at the cream, but this was no big deal… they even delivered newspapers and latterly were bringing cartons of juices and even some groceries… so they were more than milk floats really, they were breakfast floats able to bring almost your entire breakfast… and you never had to nip out to the shop bleary-eyed before breakfast or even your first cup of tea as all necessaries were lovingly deposited and perched on your doorstep… “them were the days”, as they say… and in this case they were…… one things I mostly miss is their sound, a soft motorised almost imperceptible whirr and soft chinking of glass against glass as each two-seater, open-backed almost silent godsend scooted about the streets before most anyone else was even batting an eyelid at what was at best a top speed of around 20 mph… though I did know of one milkie, another affectionate term for the driver, to reach the heady speed of 34 mph, unladen of course, though still pretty dangerous as stable as they were breaching corners at such a speed was liable to come to grief…… once a week they’d come a-knockin’ with a smile and wearing a waist apron full of change should you need on paying him, and it was then you could customise your order if and as needed, face-to-face, or at any time during the week leave a note in one of the empties, the empty milk bottles you’d leave on the doorstep which he also collected during his shift for sending back to suppliers who would sterilise and re-use them, amending you order for the next day… voila!….. a perfect system all round and even environmentally-friendly before the term environmentally-friendly became de rigeur.
© 2018 robert greig