Unspoken Words

© David Campbell

Winner, 2014 Boyup Brook Country Music Festival Written Competition, Boyup Brook WA.

I drift through empty days, then fall through endless nights,
and try to find the ways to put it all to rights.
But time, though healing’s friend, can never be undone,
and, though one wound might mend, another finds the sun.

For I have come to see, as months go slipping by,
just what you meant to me…I learn the reason why
your absence is an ache that echoes in my heart;
the moment that I wake it tears my world apart.

The house still holds you near, and right across our land
I sense that you are here and reach to take your hand.
I hear your step, your voice, but there’s just empty space;
for seconds I rejoice…a stranger has your face.

Illusion mocks my dreams and undermines my trust,
for nothing’s as it seems when hope is turned to dust.
I wander by the creek, and walk the homestead track,
but all appears so bleak, and there’s no going back.

The irony burns deep, for now the words are born,
and I can only weep at truth’s belated dawn.
Why do we leave too late those things we need to say?
For when we hesitate there is a price to pay.

Friends tiptoe round your name, so gentle in their grief,
as if, by shielding blame, they might give some relief.
Compassion is a blade that cuts both deep and clean,
when guilt that’s slow to fade provokes what might have been.

The firestorm came so fast it caught us by surprise…
we thought it might go past, and did not realise
until it was too late what hell on earth might mean,
when tragedy so great is nothing but obscene.

I fought the smoke and flame with other volunteers,
and when that wind-shift came you should have heard our cheers.
But then our vision cleared to show us what we’d lost;
our town had disappeared, and with an awful cost.

I found, on my return, a searing, private hell…
a lesson I still learn, a story I must tell.
For nothing can compare, no matter what we say,
to those with whom we share our lives from day to day.

Each moment is like gold, so precious, rich and rare;
it’s something we should hold, to cherish and to care.
Our days are all too swift, and each one that we live
‘I love you’ is a gift that we should freely give.

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