• steven holding


Updated: May 23, 2020

Given an abundance of time, even the most unsentimental of human minds is susceptible to some form of retrospection. When I envision the myriad methods one might possibly use to take a slow stroll down memory lane, pretty much all of them are pre-digital: flicking through a dusty photo album jam-packed full of snapshots perhaps, or maybe just spinning some tunes as you peruse a pile of old love letters. For me, like many others of my age, finding a passage into the past means passing through the portals of prose (I’m always a sucker for excessive alliteration, what can I say, it’s a sinful sickness staining several sentences…) Notebooks. Journals. All handwritten; stacks of the bloody things, dating back years, stashed away, full of poems and lyrics, most of them too awful and wretched to ever see the light of day. But occasionally, I grit my teeth and flick through them, excavating relics like this:


A candle offers

slight illumination,

the dying light

reflecting off her skin.

She twists and turns

through the cloud,

throwing away her worries

with a sweeping hand.

I watch helplessly,

unable to move,

frozen in wonder

for this spinning vision.

Music flows with intensity

as she follows

note for note,

becoming a silhouette.

I trace her outline

with my eye,

smiling all the time,

hanging upon her scarlet mercy.

Happy in silent admiration,

content in velvet anticipation,

she leaves a hazy colour fuelled trail

with every twist

and every twirl.

How I love

the dancing girl.

Not the greatest poem, I’m sure you’ll agree, but there is an innocence and charm to it that I still kind of dig. Re-reading it once again allows me to travel through space and time and momentarily reconnect with the seventeen year old youngster who first scribbled the piece (and God only knows what he would make of this grey haired hippy, squinting at his keyboard down the opposite end of such a freaky time tunnel) While I am loathed to indulge in romanticising ‘the good ole days’, I can’t help but feel a tiny sliver of nostalgia for that period. A point in my life when horizons seemed a tiny bit broader, dreams just a little more colourful and it was ok to be pre-occupied with such fanciful pursuits as dancing, drinking, and stealing kisses. But mostly, it just makes me realise what a fucking awful time it is to be young right now and how lucky I was to get a chance to experience those moments. There are some periods of your life that you only ever get one shot at: the endless summer when you’ve just turned eighteen is one of them.


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