4 December 2012


Bounded in a Nutshell

I could have been someone
Well so could anyone  
–  “A Fairytale of New York"  by Shane MacGowan & Jem Finer (1988)

Bounded in a nutshell
Sheltered from a storm
Small beneath the stars
Waiting for the dawn.
Summoned by a church bell
Lineage curtails
Paths forever twisting
Longing still prevails.
Bad dreams bounce
Like pinballs
Inside an aching skull
Taps that run forever
In a cup that’s never full.

Standing on a headland
Looking out to sea
Walking through a graveyard
Tracing history.
Doomed to be a dead man
Blood inside us pounds
Far off in the jungle
Another drumbeat sounds.
Infinite space
Like a kingdom
In a dream
Dwells here in the shadows
Of who we might have been.


  1. Of who we might have been, yes. But your poem gives no measure to an unfulfilled life. I think when we wonder what might have been and have things bouncing around in our heads it just means that there are still worlds to conquer and, yes, more poems to pen. I find no dispare or lack of hope in your poem, Mr. Pudding. Thank you for again giving me something to think about over my morning coffee and oatmeal.

  2. There is always a strain of 'what if' rumbling away in the back of our brains....but you don't strike me as someone who has too many regrets YP.

  3. MOUNTAIN THYME & LIBBY Thank you for your thoughtful feedback which I much appreciate...but please understand that a poem may not always reflect the actual outlook of the poet. It is possible to write poems via a persona and this is partly what I was up to here. I took the title and the idea from the "Hamlet" line in my blog's top banner. It's an idea that has been swimming around in my head for years - the idea that no matter what our circumstances we can know contentment.... if it were not for the "bad dreams" or the "what ifs". In addition, some of the word choices in this poem were driven by sound before meaning. I wanted to achieve a degree of obtuseness and that was deliberate.

  4. I enjoyed the flick flick flick of the short lines, reflecting the flicker of thoughts as we change from one to the other, 'bouncing' as you say, from hope to despair, accomplishment to failure, object to thought, place to ache.

    I'd love to see more poems of yours like this - that push deeper into the cognitive/sensory dichotomy.


Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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