The other day I had a cookie that almost took me somewhere, but not quite. I imagine it was the flavour equivalent of the splinching phenomenon found in a certain wizarding story. It was a cookie that took me back in time to memories that aren’t altogether clear, ordered, or even entirely real. It was to one of those adventure holidays, where the kids have activities all day long, with bikes and climbing and probably talent shows that I didn’t participate in, while parents inevitably heaved sighs of relief that someone else was knackering out their kids. I don’t clearly remember any sort of structure or chronology with any parts of this, but I can remember certain sensations and feelings, which is all I really managed to write down. So, this poem is called “Of Butlins”, although I don’t fully believe I ever went to such a place.
Flavours above any work of a mother’s hands,
Excerpts of time now preserved in a photo-frame,
Needing no audience when sweetness understands,
Bearing such holidays, captor of every game,
Would that it stayed the same.
Mass-produced glee and activities overdone,
Pockets and hours too shallow to stay alive,
Nutrients scarce but enough for a father’s son,
Tastes so exotic beyond the unchallenged drive,
Would that it could survive.
Every soul to climb out more a man before,
Fins for each leg, and now blind before lunch begins,
Sensitive once again when feet need not the floor,
All one could see, playing cowboys and Indians,
Would that we stayed as kings.
Days passed and hazy, near lost to the squealing winds,
Bruising elations until all the film returns,
Woodlands fly past young ears, shared with such fleeting friends,
Broken hearts, faces lost, but the emotion yearns,
Would that it was rope-burn.
Holidays, somewhere amidst all the school and youth,
Snippets temporally free, as remembered suns,
Clung to as though if released they become untruths,
Only a flavour until once more I am young,
Would that it stayed my tongue.