Chasm

There is a chasm that has ever been between us

Where once I stood so close upon the edge.

My side, with all my baggage piled around me

And you, facing me, enticing me, with wide stretched arms.

Should I have stepped across that gap and left my past?

It was but only one long stride… a little more

And I would have… or could perhaps, have reached you.

I looked across at you, sparkling in the morning sunlight

A vision of homecoming, of peace and love;

But as I teetered on the brink,

A pebble freed itself from near my feet

And plunged towards the bottom of that abyss

And I withdrew to safer ground. Withdrew to safer ground.

And there you stood, still, in the morning sun,

Holding out your hand

And offering a stick to me… “I’ll be your walking stick;

Come here to me; rest your hand upon my shoulder;

I’ll be your stick,” and still you beckoned me to your side.

To join you. To join you on that other side.

Yet now that chasm has an aspect I’d not seen…

A new dimension I had not observed.

Where once I gazed into the deep

And saw the shimmering bottom below my feet,

I now drag my eyes from what had first enthralled

And frightened me. I search to see that sight

And gaze to find your face, to seek the face I crave.

But now the sun has dropped behind your head

A halo forms about your hair; your shoulders; and I see

Not clearly anymore, your eyes, your mouth, your dark, dark eyes.

But time has thrown up much between us.

And time-created distance lies before.

For where before was depth, I now perceive remoteness

For the gap now between us is not as then,

The distance now between us is not as then,

It was but one long stride… a little more.

But now there stretches into distance, not only my view of you

But a howling abyss with a storm beneath my feet.

There is no bridge. There is a void. No bridge.

And though the stick you offered me might then have helped,

You withdrew it from me almost as you offered.

You are no longer my shoulder to rely upon

No longer the strong young back to support my age;

My walking stick remains a turn of speech.

An artefact of speech… Simply a word.

More by this Author


Comments 50 comments

BenWritings profile image

BenWritings 5 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

This seemed to be about a romance that you failed to seize when the time was right, due to fear of pain, but then ONCE AGAIN, I feel like there's more to it. Almost as deep as it being within yourself, or even your youth.

It was a great piece no matter what! Very moving and seeping with pain and regret.

Loved it, as usual...


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Yes, Ben. I'm still nursing the scars, and although the bruises have gone, it still hurts.

I'm glad you liked it; of course I am.

I really appreciate your visits; they keep me on my toes.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

I have a huge chasm. It is filled with fear of rejection and judgement. But unlike you I threw my baggage down there... at least thats a start. I wrote about it in "A Stream of Me" Mine's Samsonite, what's yours?


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm going to read that, "A Stream of Me". I promise.

I love your sense of humour, Randy.

Mine's Louis Vuitton (Yeah, Right!)


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

See maybe that's why you keep your baggage around you; its prettier than mine.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Randy, I just read, 'Stop the Ride - A Stream of Consciousness'. It knocked me sideways. I just want someone to say, "It's OK, Ian, it was only a story," but it wasn't, was it?


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

That is so my theme - the gap that separates us, the luggage I carry with me... "There is never a bridge..." The void, the howling void.

I remember it was in "Creative Impulse" by Somerset Maugham "there is such a gulf separating us" - it always felt so genuine and painful. How painful!

Were you writing about me? Rhetorical question. I know you did not, but sometimes reflections are so unexpectedly familiar...

I think you have a creative impulse now, Ian.


Randy Behavior profile image

Randy Behavior 5 years ago from Near the Ocean

Sorry Ian no it wasn't, but that wasn't the stream I sent you to. You are unfamiliar with me otherwise you'd know, not all daisies and kittens for me growing up. I can tell you what to steer clear of if you prefer the fun and silly.... I got that too.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Actually, Svetlana, I wondered how you would receive this one. It has a lot of thoughts in there that I have heard expressed by you.

I've always had the creative impulse... I was the kid at the back of the class,; gazing into space and having to be called back to earth. After a while, they just gave up, and left me in Ian World.

This is more recent, however.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Randy, I only do daisies and kitten when I want to take the piss out of something... Daisies and Kittens are all very well in their place, but not in Gothic Mansions, South London (I must move to Camden, in North London).


kallini2010 profile image

kallini2010 5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

It seems so close, yet so distant, Ian. In school, (when I could choose where to sit) I ended up in the back of the class as well because I hated anyone being behind my back. I also needed a good view of everything that had to bee seen. Back then I was not in the world of my own, but I was slightly too mature for my age.

Some teachers thought that sitting at the back is hiding, whereas it is actually easier to see in the distance - that is the whole reason for our "upright position" and advantage we gained over other species.

But the gap... I felt bad losing my job the other day, but then there was a relief as well. I did not realize how crouched it felt - almost like sitting in a box too small, now I can stand up tall. Alone. It does not matter. If there is a gap, let is be... I don't want to shrink to fit, they want to come up, they are welcome to make an effort... I am not offering any sticks, no carrots. But care not.

I have to be true to myself. In my own world.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ah - you're enjoying your gothic moods so, being the sensitive friend I am, I think I'll just leave you to wallow around in them along with all the wonderful company there. Besides, what else can be said (at least till you move to North London?) Hugs.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Don't you dare wander off, Nellie. We're (as David Cameron is wont to say) in this together.

If I want to wear all black and talk of Death and Transfiguration, so can you.

I just had a long talk with Christine (You met her over black coffee at 'The Pot' last night) and she said, "Hi!"


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Ah, Ian. By now you must have noticed I'm guided almost totally by spontaneity. I MIGHT write of Death and Transfiguration if it emerges from within (which is possible), but I can't do so just because it emerges in you, although I can enjoy and appreciate YOUR marvelous treatments of them!

Now, now, I'm not wandering off; merely giving your muse freedom to follow its own path, guiding you in precarious meandering. I may choose to observe from a cloud or a rainbow, but precipi (OK, precipices) are scary things! If near a large body of water into which to plunge, not so unnerving, but just sheer heights,- 'tis just not my thing. I can barely bear to watch you teetering on the edge of one, either, especially wearing your black tux with the black silk shirt and tie, dark-rimmed dark glasses, black fedora, and in black dancing slippers and hose! I simply gasp.

If you don't mind, I'd really like a little cream in my coffee, now that the subject has arisen. No sugar, though, if you please. I can tolerate black coffee on occasions, but in this "all black" prevailing mood, I think it best to hold out for my preference. I've been polite enough about it, since you're buying, but the time has come. . . .

Please pass along my "Hi" to Christine, since she doesn''t speak to me directly. sniff, sniff. . . By the way, is 'The Pot' a South London dive or is it in Camden? I ask just in order to know the proper dress code for our next tête-à-tête, though I won't be wearing all black! Perhaps a classic black skirt and frilly white silk blouse, black sandals with black lacy hose, and with some sparkle in my necklace.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

I prefer the darker side of things, and dark hallways, and things that go bump in the night. I enjoy the poetry that goes deep into the inner recesses and makes me stop and wonder, how a person wanders through those tunnels and how do they appear on the other side.

Splendid piece of poetry, even tho I read heart-ache, and sadness. I still enjoyed it, it made me think.

*hugs*

Laurie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, 'The Pot' (or was it 'The Coffee Pot'... I think the former) was in Perth, nineteen-sixty-something. Christine has just looked at 'Computer Purchase' and edited it and added words and taken out words and (of course, I just remembered; you know what editing is... Hmm!)

Dangerous ground, Christine, dangerous ground.

Mind you, I haven't read it yet; well I have, and can't see any differences. She;s most probably removed the odd expletive.

Shakespeare had this trouble when he was Bowdlerised, I believe. I must ask him how he dealt with that when I write to his FaceBook page later.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Laurie. I am going through a bit of a depressed stage right now, so I have found these and wallowed in them. 'Chasm' is relatively new, and I think it has a bit more maturity than some of my earlier efforts, but I wonder if anyone would realise.

I think it works, but I'm an arrogant bugger and I may be wrong. So long as you like it, I'm happy.

I'll publish a love poem without any whining and moaning about lost love and despair next time. OK?


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I'm in that stage with you. Can I come lay (lie??? which is correct grammar?) on your couch and whine to you? We can watch movies and drink tea and eat scones and cover up with warm blankets. And you can read The Potter to me. This works for me.

xoxoxo


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Angie, what a lovely comment to receive. Bless you. My father was always correcting my grammar and even the way I stood ("Don't stand there like that. You look like a cab horse!"). Another one was, "Lay? Lay? Hens lay, my boy... lie!" Does that answer your question?

Come and watch 'Downton Abbey' with me. I bought the series on DVD and am loving it.

And I'll read 'The Potter' to you, and you can suggest where I go from there.

Laurie says she likes Doom and Gloom and Gothic Tales of Loss and Despair. i feel you like ove Poems... which is to be my next posting? You choose.

Would the next section of 'The Potter' work if I sent it to you?


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Most people have teetered on that crumbling chasm and wondered, what if? But we're not talented enough to describe it so bitter/sweetly as you have. Should it be bitterly/sweetly, i wonder? I read this last night, but i was too tired to comment coherently. Cheers Ian, another masterpiece.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, I like the word "masterpiece", but when the word is governed by "another", I am a very happy bunny.

From a wordsmith as yourself, Keith (Did I get it right?) that is a double whammy.

Most appreciated, my friend.


Shil1978 profile image

Shil1978 5 years ago

I can so identify with this poem, Ian. Yes, the scars never go away and it never ceases to hurt. It is just so awesome though that you can describe it so beautifully. As always, an absolute pleasure to read and savor!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Shil, it is also an absolute pleasure for me to know that you have come to read, but even more so (if there is "more" than "absolute") to find that you like what I have written and that it speaks to your soul as effectively as I had wished.

Thank you so much for keeping me in your sights.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Ian, Ok, so I am going to lie on your couch. Thank you for clearing that up for me. I knew I could count on you. I just watched Downton Abbey a couple of weeks ago on Netflix live stream!!! I knew we were kindred spirits. I loved it! John and I are working our way through Lark Rise to Candleford now. I like it. We like to pick different series and watch them through Netflix, gives us something to look forward to in the mail. We did Ballykiss Angel first, it's set in Ireland, then we did Monarch of the Glen set in Scotland, and now the one we're on is set in England. I think they make John feel like he's visiting home when we watch them.

I must say it seems to depend on my mood what I like to read. Lately I've been sad so I've immersed myself in the "doom and gloom", which is exactly what the experts say NOT to do...I say SOD the experts! haha

But I do love The Potter, so you are more than welcome to read that to me when I get there. :)


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Get ready then. There's a little parcel in the post. I asked Oswald, Maude's favourite carrier pigeon to carry it directly to you, but he told me to bugger off, because someone would think he was a seagull and so he sent it by e-mail.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Hey, I checked...there is nothing there! Waaahhhhh.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I asked Oswald where he had been, and he apologised and said that he turned left and forgot where America was (I think he's got a girlfriend on the South Coast), but he's telling lies... first of all he says e-mails and then he says turned left... lying little bloke.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Oswald is naughty indeed. But he has redeemed himself, as it has been delivered. But don't give the lying little bloke as much dinner tonight as punishment.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm cutting back on the bird seed and he just stuck up two feathers at me. But then I looked in 'Mrs Beaton's Recipe Book for a Better Class of Person', and by the time I was half through the recipe for Elderly Squab with Juniper Berries, he was behaving himself. He even offered to fill the dishwasher for me, so I think we're OK again.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Did you ever read about what happened to his sisters and his cousins which he numbers by the dozens and his brothers and his aunts? In 'Shotgun and Herons'?

I read him the whole story, and he has been a very good pigeon all morning. I think we have definitely turned the corner


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Angie, I accidentally "Denied" your comment. I'm going off to put ashes on my head, wear sackcloth and say, Mea culpa! Mea culpa! Mea culpa.

Is that OK?


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I may forgive you if copious amounts of gifts are involved.


Lady Wordsmith profile image

Lady Wordsmith 5 years ago from Lancaster, UK

Well, there's a proper sad tale behind that poem of yours eh? I used to have some of these regrets (a few, not LOADS mind!), but I don't know, I suppose I just exorcised them or something. I don't have sad thoughts about lost loves anymore, don't know why. Weird. Probably because I'm so ace, and I know that there's no-one good enough for me, ha!

Chin up chuck :D Or not, if you'd rather be all Tim Burton for a bit.

Linda.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for dropping by, Linda. I love delving down to the very depths... it's so much fun when you surface after that, and then when you go for the apex... Bugger the nadir!

Tim Burton? I'd rather not, unless he came with the full package; Helena Bonham-Carter and Johnnie Depp... I could go along with that.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

Oh Ian Darling,

I do not care what you publish, as long as you publish poetry that makes my heart soar, or brings a smile to my face, or both of the above. I know, I know, what a greedy sort, but someone had to teach the younger generation, and where do you think Angie learned it from! She always blames her wrongdoings on her older sister. Shame on her I say!

*hugs Dear Man*

Laurie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for the comments, Laurie. Sometimes I feel you like the abysmal "I prefer the darker side of things, and dark hallways", and at others you go for the "poetry that makes my heart soar, or brings a smile to my face".

I was thinking od sending a section from 'The Potter' which is so Doom and Gloom, that you would most probably read ti and then go and cut your throat... Hmmm!

But don't worry about your Younger Sister; I feel she was a willing pupil.

Ian


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Laurie, he is a hideous liar, there is nothing doom and gloom about the Potter...it's glorious!

Ian, I kicked and screamed the entire way...never willing!!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Angie, unless you hold your hand up and cry, "Stop! Stop! Enough is enough!", you know that you are going to be fed 'The Potter' section by section, until you reach section 23 (or whatever section it will be by that time). Look out for section 12. It is one of the most depressing pieces of writing I have ever created yet.

Believe me.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

Well, at this point in time I can't picture myself ever yelling stop stop, but it's good to know I have the option if so needed. But depressing in fiction doesn't bother me as much as depressing in real life...so I imagine it will be fine. If you can write it, AND read it, I have to be at least that strong don't I???


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm going to post something I wrote when I was first at college. When I was twenty... be gentle with it. I think you might like it. It is so much unlike anything I write now. In fact, I might whack a couple of extra ones on... Wotchafink? (Ask John for a translation if this last confuses you.) I'll have to find a suitable picture or two.


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I understood wotchafink....but I wanna know why are you still awake?? It's after 2:00 am there! haha


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I have the most erratic sleep pattern. I have the sleep pattern of a teenager.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

I know Ian, I am a walking oxymoron aren't I. But it is the darker poetry that brings a smile to my face, and makes my heart soar. Yes they have always called me an odd duck, but I like it here. I find it my place of comfort. And a tad greedy when reading good poetry, so I really do like most of it. It allows me to look into someone's mind, even if for the briefest moments.

*hugs*

Laurie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I agree, Laurie. Darker poetry doesn't depress me either. if something is well written, I get a buzz. It may be sensuous; incredibly sad; patriotic; uplifting... all of these or none, so long as the words work together to make my heart go, "Yse!", then I get that frisson.

Big hugs to you also.


Little Kim profile image

Little Kim 5 years ago from Any town U.S.A.

So sad. Know what it's like to reach out. Seems so close but fear takes over.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thanks for coming and reading, and also appreciating it for what it's worth. It's true, Little Kim; if we hesitate, all our chances might be lost, never to be regained.


KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Dear, dear Ian... if I had only one choice in every long while to read and then no more... I hope I would have the wits about me to choose to read your words and not the empty mumblings of any other lord!

You do me the greatest honor allowed with every read... entry... and for this I thank you!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Now I am embarrassed. Thank you. I don't know how to express my gratitude for your kind words.

Please, Kevin, open this little offering, and see where it all started.

http://hubpages.com/literature/Good_Bye_a_Poem_Con...


manatita44 profile image

manatita44 2 years ago from london

Great poem and great chasmic images.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 2 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you manatita. I appreciate your visit. Take care,

Ian

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    This is one of a trio of poems that come roughly within the category of “Poems of Despair”.

    The other two may be found at ‘You are no more the light’ and ‘Winter's Come'

    Click to Rate This Article
    working