Forgive

Let me live in the past tonight

I go there alone

No matter where the mind wanders

It can’t hold your hand here

Can’t take your strength

I need to go back

And wander

The rooms of my existence

Before you came

Pick up those memories

Like ornaments to be examined

Look at them closely

Blow the dust that gathers

And increases their menace

Blow it off to reveal

Innocent endeavour misconstrued

Put them down

And move on

And forgive

And in moving through those rooms of the past

Come across,

Finally

A covered mirror

Unveiled

Regard the face there

And finally forgive

That one most blamed by me

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Deadlines

I walk in the town

Where my son lives

Deadlines tie him

With no time to give

I watch at a table a son

And his mother

Laughing show pictures

Have fun with each other

I read in the paper

On coffee shop table

Of mother and son, missing, unstable

A smiling photo, chubby twinkle

Stares out from report, heart sinking

Tears, blur vision, drop in cappuccino

Reservoir dragged, bodies found, final

And the cheeks of the baby

Will never grow slim

To be the man laughing

His mother with him

Or moaning that more notice should be given

To bestow a five minute visit

On a mother unbidden

From grief at my lonely existence

I cry for the boy, his mother, this nonsense

That life takes us all

At one time or another

Casts a knife between

A son and his mother

The story in the news

Deadlines

Lines of dead

It’s November,

That baby didn’t want to go swimming

In that reservoir

All those dreams

Flowing a future in droplets

Of water

Drunk by others into their system

I hope they honour that

Dead Child

Dead child

I am not spinning around in your arms

I am not getting sweets with my charms

I am not playing a puzzle with friends

A bullet and knife is where my life ends

I haven’t known a day without fear

I haven’t felt a family near

I am broken from birth to the grave

Time counted in months was all that life gave

I know you fear me though I am just small

I don’t know you, don’t know you at all

I know you have children precious to you

My mother died crying because she knew

I woke in her arms still safe

Protected from breathing the dust of hate

Her eyes were dull sparkle gone

No answer to Mama?

2, alone

I am not a human to you

I am not a child

To you I am a ticking bomb

About to go wild

Support your own

By rote your favourite saying

What child of ours deserves to be slain

Support, love, universal truths

sperm egg the colour of youth

The future, the smile, the reaching out hand

Stopped in dead children spread over the land

A curse not from my lips will ever come

As blood seeps to earth dried by bitter sun

Remembrance flowers grow from the earth I nourish

Your little plot protected to flourish

I am only a child

I love to laugh

And when I cry

To have a hug,

Mum worried about my chesty cough

But now dead because I am shot.

My eyes stare now I don’t see

Tell me how the world will be

Lying broken, dead not asleep

No lullaby sung and no sweet dreams

EMcGinty 2017

First published in For The Many Not The Few Vol 1 compiled by CT Meek

Paolo Hewitt on Fiery Bird Show ‘Colour Me Father’

Colour Me Father, An Open Letter To My Son by Paolo Hewitt one of the celebrated sons of Woking takes a different turn on his usual writing. Whether his life’s work as the scribe of a generation mesmerised by the myth and magic of music, or his autobiographies, the sum total of both reaches 23 books. He joined me on the Fiery Bird Show to talk about growing up in Woking, his past and this, a very personal project shared at such a poignant time in his life; becoming a father.

In this more philosophical work he sets out a letter to his young son, Rafi, born in 2015. Sparked by his first birthday and his smile of delight at his family and friends gathered to celebrate, Paolo unlocks for his son the detail of the everyday that gives wonder to life to the philosophy of belonging that his sometimes painful, lonely, delightful and interesting journey has brought him to make a world through these new eyes make sense. “To keep you believing without a moment’s hesitation in your soul that life is indeed, deeply wonderful”

With a similar outlook to the allegorical writing of Paolo Coelho yet embedded from the childhood laid bare in The Looked After Kid, this book is a moving contemplative work that brings the bittersweet joy and fear of parenting to the fore. Its research was life unfolding, an instinctive, visceral thing provided by the very act of becoming a father, something he spoke to friends about who, whether sprung from a comfortable nest of family or not could assure the lone orphan that whatever our background, when we start again as parents, we all start again.

Like many of us do, wishing to pass on the wisdom we learn, it always comes down to what can’t be bought and the voice of the heart. That such a personal work about the future by giving his son the stories of his past, has proved cathartic for him in that it almost serves as the last in a trilogy started by The Looked After Kid through to But We All Shine On: The Remarkable Orphans Of Burbank Children’s Home and now with the birth of Rafi and this book that brings the past only to the future to be its guide, Hewitt says he has now let go of the past and has said it all, a weight has lifted.

The honesty about the loneliness of a writer, the vulnerability of revealing yourself layer by layer with each work stands it as a bearer for the outsider feeling so many have, that after all is only truth of individuality wishing to connect. Lessons learnt from our long lives are that; only by being and connecting to ourselves can we live out the integrity of our dreams. Since reading it the phrase ‘Be faithful to life’ uttered by Sister Patricia repeats itself often when there is doubt.

This personal letter shared is only available direct from Paolo, wishing to keep the book something that the writer and reader remain as reading a personal letter that means something.

More details of his work and this book can be obtained here.

To hear him talk about this book, growing up in Woking, fighting over the studio desk with me and general banter with the added contribution of possibly the nicest man in Woking, Pete Garland a long time friend of Paolo’s.

Three examples of the catholic schools of the parish of woking 😉

How they use us as examples is another thing

Listen again to the interview here (10mins in)

Playlist

Fire – Gino Parks (skipped miserably – i hate the desk but just so you know an attempt was made

Steeley Dan – Reeling in The Years

Color Him Father – The Winstons

Be My Baby – The Ronettes

Kushty Rye – Ronnie Lane

Reading from ‘Colour Me Father’ By Paolo Hewitt accompanied by an original piece by Simon Wells

Apron Strings – Everything But The Girl

Blue Horizons – Graham Parker

Long & Winding Road – The Beatles

Be Young Be Foolish Be Happy – The Tams

Sword

Even

as my hands

poised over the keys

I asked myself

If I still believe

If I write a story

When so uncertain

Would regret be result

Of pulled back curtain

The WiFi unstable

The resolve shaken

Even committing the words

And feelings forsaken

Never a guarantee

Aught would be read

The chamber of laying

Became chamber of dread

And so as always

I curl my fingers in

Too shy to write the extent of his sin

And so

I sit, contemplate madness

For that is what happens

When you crush your sadness

I try to prevail

Find strength and rally

But dark is the road

And narrow the alley

Bright sharp

pinprick of light

And pen, mighty sword

Will take up your fight