Poem – Dumbfounded.

Sometimes who you were, will enlighten who you are, in order to become who you want to be. Keeping on the theme of ‘hope’ this is a spoken word recently filmed in Barcelona.


in March the sap rises in the
blood as in any woodland branch.
right up until the end, I will
find my seventeen-year-old
self there.

he still believes in the grass
growing along the Champs-Élysées,
convinced that in a month or two
he must wine with girls south of

he rises for work, like resin
to the stump of felled pine,
leaving the family terrace at
five elm drive, with the first
line of Manchester melodies
stuck in his head,

then marking down dates
on cold meat, thinking, `by
that week I will be free of
this fucking job.’

Greek-women in white
shorts are waiting for him,
their brown eyes caught
like garlands as he
disembarks the ferry.

when the magnolia opens
he stands looking to hills
shadowed by cloud and
notices how the forests
there don’t grow as tall
or as green as home.

the paths between the
narcissi are his Adriatic
alleyways, explored at
the pace of courtyard
jasmine on the air.

I feel him, as real as any
soul I have known, more so,
because in the end he did
not leave me memory,

he never left that summer
or more to come, instead
he left his dumbfound hope
he placed in all things at that age.

I protect him and watch for
his return on the hardest path
through winter, through the sun
charged daffodil, like a witness
of miracles, I no longer believe in.

©N J Wood 2020


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