Wednesday, 26 March 2014


“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” – Gautama Buddha

For this week’s prompt, Poetry Jam has chosen the topic of “Letting Go”, and whatever that may mean to hose who choose to rise to the challenge and write a poem on this topic. The illustration above is by Renu Sharma. Here is my offering:

Letting Go

The past can bind its faithful

With invisible shackles,
Stronger than steel,
Harder than diamond.

We build a temple to yesterday,
And we decorate its walls
With bright-coloured frescos
Of a fantasy world remembered.

The past can hold its disciples
With a ghostly vice,
More secure than iron,
Stronger than any metal.

We raise an altar to bygones,
And we lay upon it gold-coloured vessels,
Bright baubles and trinkets,
Whose worth is less than it appears.

The past can hurt its worshippers
With intangible blows,
Crueller than lashings,
More deadly than knife thrusts.

How hard it is to let go, forgive…
How much harder to forget,
How hard to jettison all that bind us
To things of old,
Both bad and good.

Letting go can seem to be betrayal,
But it is truly liberation –
Forgiveness can only happen
If we choose to forget
Those things that hurt us most.


  1. Very profound .. Letting go is freedom. Harbouring grudges and resentment eats away at you and is very unhealthy. Best press the delete button and forget. Forgiveness requires a belief in a higher being because it is not in the nature of man." as we forgive those who trespass against us"...big ask! Well expressed poem and another thought teaser form Nicholas:)

  2. Nick, your poem leaves me feeling deeply; and that is a good thing. I like to feel, really FEEL, when I read poetry. So often your poetry does that to me. We cannot build a temple to yesterday, I don't think. We live in today, and today is what we have. We have to be able to forgive. Your poem shows me the importance of forgiveness of those who hurt us most.

  3. isn't that the truth! shrining our past to which we know is comfortable and certain and it is easy to go with comfortable than building our future which if we let the fear of the uncertain get to us is not a good thing. investing in the future is by every means a win win investment. Great meaning in a well done piece of work! thank you!

  4. This is profoundly wise.........I especially love the past binding its faithful with invisible true. And raising an altar to bygones.....Wonderful writing! Wise words.

  5. very truthful and honest expression...letting go is such a hard task but if one can do it he's rewarded with freedom and peacefulness....

  6. Very insightful poem with great wisdom expressed. If only we could do that...

  7. Beautiful and thoughtful. The "temple to the past” metaphor is a potent and very incisive image.

  8. I agree that living in the last is totally unproductive. You show well how we can become its prisoners. I like that you also remind us that we can distort the past and worship something that did not take place. An excellent and though-provoking poem!

  9. Well done....thanks for sharing

  10. Well done...I like your poem and it is so true

  11. beautiful image to go with your lovely words-

  12. "The past can hold its disciples With a ghostly vice" Wow! What an image! The whole piece really - from start to finish - penned in beautiful words.

  13. Rich thoughts, and I love the image with which you've paired your words.

  14. Nicely thought out and put together. I liked "jettison all that bind us".

  15. I really like how you carried the image and the concept of the past through, gave it a real concrete feel. Great images :-)

  16. What an amazing poem! What you describe so beautifully is so true. So many of us live completely in the past of our own making, not necessarily reality...

  17. Great illustration for your excellent poem... I enjoyed reading it a lot.

  18. Beautiful, Nicholas. I especially like the first stanza.

  19. Forgiveness can only happen If we choose to forget - That is the heart of the matter, wonderfully expressed. Excellent poem, true emotion.

  20. "With a ghostly vice" - by far my favourite line. Very relatable and well expressed. Thank you for sharing, Nick!