There are days gone, and days to come

A fictional poem, in a non-fictional world


Days dropped away -
a countdown
in maddening mid December

running toward some prophesied narrative
where everyone is grateful

in my naivety
I had come to think
that meant in my heart, too
but, the nativity of another unwanted child-hood trauma re-emerging
rears its bald and bloody head

winter had been generous, however
with its spirited yield of white powder
falling, and disappearing
at the tip of my nose

whiskey, or some cider coloured piss
to wash it back
in my smoky, magnolia dungeon

it was all ok, until I lost my teeth
now, I’m lonely, toothless, and there’s no fairy’s
or, white bearded philanthropists
creeping to my bed
in the night
in some-sort-of state sanctioned home invasion

the fat man in red visits, occasionally
he works for Royal Mail

I used to order myself gifts from Amazon
just for the human contact
now they just choke-slam my parcel
into the mat
like it’s Saturday morning wrestling
and run off
before, I can even trip over myself
trying to get my stained underpants pulled up
and get to the door

those were the days
not as in: the dreamy, rose coloured sense
those were the days, it all went to shit
it all started one cosy
duvet draped morning


days dropped away -
a countdown
in maddening mid December

sheep sheared for the season
counting reindeer to fall asleep
daydreaming of sleighs
and stockings

the morning smelt like cinnamon
the sky was marmalade on toast
and, the river Thames was spilt tea
down the side of a porcelain cup

it was 1976’
we had a new television
Andre the Giant was slamming men to the canvas
like they were Amazon parcels
all whilst wearing a little black leotard

I couldn’t wait to pull my wellies on
and make a snowman with Dad

he told me to eat my cereal
and watch tele
until Mum came home

he made me promise, I would

“Dad?”, I called out

“When are we going outside?”


with one red left footed wellington boot
on my right foot
and the other in my arms
I pushed his door ajar
to where there were two bare feet suspended in the air

he was just there …

just there …
like some, appalling Christmas angel

a grotesque decoration
hanging without a twinkle

I never understood why



it was so easy

not, to do it
but, to leave us

I thought I never would understand …

I always did what I was told
obeyed the rules
until, I didn’t
until, I opened that door
in a way, I blamed myself
I imagined if I hadn’t opened that door
if I had just waited with my cereal
and tele
and excitement
like Dad told me
then, none of it would have happened
I knew it wasn’t true …
but, I couldn’t help myself

so, since then
I alway do as I am told
but, it’s not working
everything around me is burning
and I’m just sitting here
doing as I’m told


(unavailable) please take a step back


days dropped away -
a countdown
in maddening mid December

charred from the inside out
with a bucket of water
on the doorstep
- I’m told it’s contaminated with pathogens
or, was it the PH is off? I forget

days drop away -
I tell myself not to worry
they’ll be more;
that comforts
and scares me
in equal measure

a countdown
to a time when I can breath freely, again

in a maddening mid-life crisis
persistently preserving the jarred pickle
of my quarter-life crisis
and my beginning-life crisis
- between my pre-adulthood and

I passed flat #5 today
on the way back from getting milk
and long skins

the old girl was out
she must be in her maddening mid nineties
amazing women she is
mind is near completely gone
she wouldn’t know her son
from the delivery boy
double leg dropkicking
her mail-order knick-knacks
down the hall
yet, she always got around like a twenty something
even in her nineties
well, until, yano

I said hello
she smiled
and, I smiled back

like an old friend
not the stranger, I feel

it’s been so long since I saw her
I wondered if she was still around

… and … I’m all alone, again
with my mask.

© Darius the Mate

Wordplay Pathway

6 thoughts on “There are days gone, and days to come

  1. I’m glad you said that it was fictional, though parts of it seem too real to be. Andre the Giant! Wow, that was unexpected, and as a former mail carrier, the analogy with the delivery person cracked me up! However, of course, the rest of this piece just cracked me open. When I first scrolled to see how long the poem was–as I routinely do, always–I thought, wow, pretty long, but when I read it and got to the end, I was like, wut, it’s over already? I was drawn in completely. I’m not going to forget the father’s feet and the little boy looking in any time soon, nor the senile mother, ether. Finally, I love the way you arranged this n the “page” and the repeated mid-December motif. You are a fine writer, Darius, and I am so glad I came across you and count you as a compadre.

    Liked by 1 person

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