We are all nothing but ghosts to us now.
Time shadows its spell like this.
Walking streets once familiar,
in places past, the faces pass.
Some you think we could recall,
some are hardly there at all.
Big differences quickly glimpsed
that really are only small,
massive yet intangible.
The record pulled from its sleeve
hardly changes from day to day
as indelible as black permanent ink,
like the world, it turns and turns
and the tracks remain the same.
Fixed; solid since the time it was pressed.
Perhaps a skip you don’t recollect,
hearing crackles that you did forget.
But who’s to say it’s the groove at fault
in its infinite ever decreasing spiral?
The stylus is just as much to blame,
never different in its constant change,
tunes still scuttle through the brain.
True it is that time makes us ghosts,
to those we once loved to touch the most.
Well, they are still alive somewhere,
but locked back, stuck tight in the year
we smiled, shook and said goodbye.
Phantoms who live in dreams,
whisper haunting snatches of speech,
at once there but still just out of reach.
Only memories of what they once were
remain. And if by chance you meet,
it is thankless to stop, smile and greet
the cadaver. Because familiar looks
are locked libraries of lost books.
The lovers that you yearned to hold
have gone. They have grown old
with a shrug. Only the flesh remains,
it looks just about the same:
a little older, yes; worn by pain.
Perhaps that wrinkle you hadn’t seen before,
this guilty splash of grey,
those scars that break upon your shore.
But all we once were has drifted away.
And the programme needs an update,
some context to rewrite your soft wear,
patches to fix functions and rejuvenate.
It takes time and you know you will defer.
But even should you accept these changes,
and your words are more than slight exchanges,
what's left? Only shadows.
Scattered grains beneath time’s plough
we are all nothing but ghosts to us now.