The precious are so  easy to neglect:
I let them down, my family and  my friends.
It’s futile if I offer my respect –
Today is  much too late to make amends.
Nothing is left for me to do or say.
The fact is:  my priorities were wrong.
So much affection simply poured away:
I see that now; why did it take so long?
My time, my love: I  squandered them, instead
Of using them. It can’t be altered now;
most of those I should have loved are dead.
The waste of it all: how could I allow
The waves of my emotions to break and roar
Upon a distant and irrelevant shore?

 

David Whippman is a British poet, now retired after a career in healthcare. Over the years he’s had quite a few poems, articles and short stories published in various magazines. 

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10 Responses

  1. C.B. Anderson

    David,

    I hope that your life is not as grim as you have let on. I, too, have acted much too late in similar circumstances, but that’s water under the bridge, and, as always, we move on, if only to confront our loved ones in the afterlife, where everything is forgiven. After all, we are only human.

    Reply
    • Dave Whippman

      Thanks CB. Yes, we have to see the glass half full, and think of whatever good we have managed. That said, regrets are part of being human, I think. But no, I would say all in all things have worked out ok for me – with a few hassles along the way!

      Reply
  2. Mark Stone

    David, Hello. Here are my comments. 1. I would put a period at the end of L1 and L7. 2. I very much like the sound of L3 & L4 because of their assonance and consonance. 3. I don’t think you need a colon in L6. 4. If you wanted to make the last 6 lines more consistently IP, here is one way. My suggested changes are in full caps.

    My time, my love: I squandered them, instead
    Of using them, AND MUCH TO MY REGRET,
    most of those I should have loved are dead.
    A TOTAL waste. I DON’T KNOW how I LET
    The waves of my emotions break and roar
    Upon a FAR, INCONSEQUENTIAL shore?

    5. A sad poem, but well crafted.

    Reply
    • Dave Whippman

      Thanks Mark for a detailed and thoughtful critique. Punctuation is always a moot point in poetry isn’t it? For example, the school of thought that says the end of a line can itself be regarded as a comma or whatever.

      The change you suggest is structurally sound, but I am not sure it reads better. For me, “much to my regret” sounds a little too detached (I suppose that’s the word) for this piece. But really there is no right or wrong in this – any poem could be changed, and that’s part of the fun!

      Reply
  3. Satyananda Sarangi

    Greetings!

    The poem is powerful owing to its realistic tone. I must confess that this is one of the finer poems I have read of late.

    Regards

    Reply
  4. E. V.

    You’ve written a timeless poem with a universal message. The closing lines are particularly powerful.

    Reply
  5. James Sale

    Very powerful poem David – it captures so well a terrible aspect of human life, the choices we make and the regrets that we have as a result. I like this poem a lot. Thank you.

    Reply

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