Burning My Diaries


This poem became a song with no changes to the words. So here is the link to it on Soundcloud (click above..) It’s the only song I’ve recorded with piano, as opposed to guitar or banjo, as the main instrument.

I can’t come out, I’m burning my diaries
Fifteen years of dusty words
Going yellow, to brown, black then grey
Testament to, five thousand days
Maybe later, when they’re all gone
I’ll come out for that drink my friend
But now I’ve begun I must finish the job
See it through ‘til it’s smoky end
I can’t come out, I’m in the garden
Keeping my fire going
It’s warm on my hands and my feet
So many words give out lots of heat
Pages of this life
Rise into the air
Children and lovers, friends and plans
Triumphs, boredom, despair
I can’t come out, this is taking
Longer that I thought
So much paper, plus the spines
All this must burn – every line
And the fire it spits and it hisses
But I smell no anger or shame
I hear no screams from the ashes
Not even a sigh from the flames
I can’t come out, it’s almost done
And I’m feeling a little bit lost
Now I must live in the here and now –
stop trying to understand how
I ended up in this garden
Putting to death what I wrote
Wondering what it will feel like tomorrow
Hoping the neighbours don’t mind the smoke
I can come out now, if you’re still there
Just let me change out of this coat
I feel quite pleased with myself
There’s lots of room, now on my shelf
And the past is floating away
Up to where it’s meant to be
In the smoke over my garden
Blowing to Essex and out to the sea

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