Hexagonal Variations on a Circular Thought


                                    I NEVER WAS WHAT I USED TO BE



I woke from a sweet sleep to find an old man waiting in my reflection,

checking his watch & making calculations in his ledger.

But I could only laugh as the hours washed the days away,

& I turned off the light rather than write to my father,

or stare further into the reflection of what is or what might be.


I know I have to go back to where the child is held,

prepare to fight, or worse,

confront the ordinary.

What if my whispers give no screams?

What if my screams give way to silence?

Then, what am I now?



This now hasn’t happened, yet

the memories are fading.


Consider the fluidity,

the ebb & flow of

time/memories, interwoven,

if you pull at one the other falls &

though the linear concept of time carries no weight in my mind,

the persistence of memory burns its images into a history

that’s left wanting to conform with a calendar &

forced to comply with the old man’s calculations.



Return to your childhood home,

it’s not as big,

the father’s not as strong,

but frail, nearing his/our end, &

the happy times, the innocence

will hit you, &

the worries that held you then

will let you go

but will always…


Like when you look through old photos

& get a rush of sensations that

we are not here but there, &

whatever happened was fictional

but time folds;

age has acted upon us, catalysed, &

you are the product of what was/is,

& however the moments felt

they are now ingrained

into the most repressed depths of your soul, &

form part of the hole.

But what if the moments were manufactured,

just strategies, collateral damage divorced from fact?

The feelings, though only manipulation of false recall

still create the mind of a man, the old man,

still manifest the (reality) of a (life).



You were young,

childish & crazy.

You leapt at life

with abandon

like a drunken god.


But now? Responsibly

you pay your bills,

sort your garbage

& watch your diet.

Still hungover

from the trials of youth,

but now gracious &

somewhat subdued.


That’s not to say you

fell into the machine,

but rather you consider your self,

you catch your reflection sometimes &

realise that the years have not taken,

that this then/now was/is happening,

youth may rest in the shade

but light shines on the vicissitudes of age.

You realise that you are the old man,

& it’s only you who’s calculating the time.



Life is just a mix of

  • perception,
  • interpretation, &
  • the creation of “truth”.


Existence is only a term we use

while we’re trying to give ourselves meaning.


Therefore, in the context of meaning,

the world is only a representation,

a creation of the mind,

a surreal image,

            ce n’est pas une vie.


In (reality), to summarise;

there was no mother’s loss,

nor no father’s grief,

just memories, as they remember them,

& now?


A child’s mind was folded

under their guiding hands

until their stories made the man.


But no more, know more,

now I am

because now I know

I never was what I used to be.

Published in The Frequency of God, Close-Up Books, December 2017

PDF available for download: Hexagonal Variations on a Circular Thought – Mark William Jackson



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