Excerpt for Traces by , available in its entirety at Smashwords


By Charlie Wilson

Copyright 2017 Charlie Wilson

Smashwords Edition

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Table of Contents

Traces start

About Charlie Wilson

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Autumn seeds drifting in the sky,

Leaves changing colour,

Falling to the ground.

Leaves sizzling on a bonfire,

Stamping on leaves,

Listen them to crunch

Autumn leaves turning red, yellow or orange.

Autumn is cold and miserable,

Watching your breath in the cold mornings,

Wind howling and screaming around the school

Autumn is conker time,

When they fall from the trees,

With their shells splitting open ready for play.

Written at Primary School


As a child I loved

Falling asleep in the back

Of the car and letting

Your parents carry you

Through the

Door when you got home,

Opening one eye to surmise the

Stairs that disappeared, one by one, in front

Of you, then collapsing on a

Soft surface, swallowing you

Down into a peaceful nest –

Blessed in the arms of sleep that

Wrap you like your mother’s warmth,

Your father’s restful hand placed

On top of your head, as you

Disappear in dreams where

Infinite possibilities drift through

In vague imagery and

Half-baked memory


When I was younger

I was so open hearted

I could speak to anyone and the

Sky would close in around

Us and we would be the only

Two people in the world,

I poured time into listening

And gave everything I had to the

Art of conversation –

Now, some days, I feel like I’m

Sitting in a cave where

Silhouettes play across the

Cold stone walls and I watch

The reflections of life, hearing

People in the far-off distance

While I sit here wrapped

In cotton wool, a cloud

Of personal imaginings

Where thoughts rise like balloons

And fill the room in my heart

That used to be open to anyone


If my body was the body of the

Universe, I’d wrap words around

Myself and dress in a garment of

Stars, writing poetry in constellations

And in sacred geometry echoing

Down the passages of time,

I’d move an inch and worlds would

Spring with life lurching forwards,

The dance of creation spinning

From my smallest finger, I’d wear

The rings of Saturn and dance

With beautiful Venus, Mars would

Get jealous and declare all

Out war, I’d wrap the Earth

In rays of love sent from

An ever loving sun, breathing in

An atmosphere of oxygen and

Nitrogen, I’d speak through rock

And stone, the hump backed mountains

Ridging their way across an open landscape

The forest floor thick with creatures

And plant life and oceans swimming

With manifestations of cosmic glory,

I’d revel in all the faces I wore

And laugh when I realised I

Was mostly empty space, that

Protons and neutrons were bobbing

In an ocean of nothingness, I’d

Blink and fish would start

Walking, I’d blink again and

Humans would be racing for the

Moon, I’d swoon to see small

Acts of kindness performed, I’d

Awaken to myself through

Pulsing evolutionary pathways until I

Wore the mask of Man, I’d do everything

I could to live a life of goodness

And when time ran out, and

I was reduced to a single atom,

God would sigh and breathe me

Out again


A life is made up of small

Moments, I try to let them

Pierce the soft shell of my

Animal body, sink into the

Weight of each minute, let

Seconds impress themselves

Through the veil of skin

And bone - this body is

My home, and houses the

Full colour spectrum of

Human emotion

Violet sadness

Flowers somewhere in the

Psyche, perhaps it’s the remnant

Of an old crumbling building

Its walls slowly fading

Behind a blanket of moss,

Perhaps it creeps in from a

Covering that surrounds

Earth - tales of devastation

And loss, of war in the

Middle East, of deforestation

And species disappearing

Pain seeps through me by

Osmosis - but then follows

Joy unbridled, unaffected

By tragedy, a pillar of light

Connects from this frame

And reaches to rice scattered

Heavens, the juice of a star

Pours nectar that pulses in

The brain, sap rises through

Roots and glory becomes

My name


I press against you,

A fly at a window

Aching for scenery and only

Tap, tap, tapping solid glass,

I ask for the sun and the moon and

Feel this barrier, like crystallised air

That breathes between us,

Pushing against my own

Image and hardness,

Little wings beat you silently, furiously,

But you stand impassive, emotionless

As the eyes of buildings


I could be

Anyone’s fool

Lay my heart at your feet

Play make-believe

Melt into red, gold and green

Where sun kissed fields glisten with promise

Dissolve in music

Disappear forever

I could steal away at some late hour

Let Shakespearean tragedy come alive

Dive head first into fairytale romance

We could dance together

Souls entwined

Until your hand lets go of mine

We could be kind

We could be unkind

I could fall in love

Passing glances in the street

I could fall into the arms of everyone I meet

I could give it all away

And watch it flood back to me

Drink the drink of ecstasy

Breathe words like a submerged diver

Lovelorn windows

Adorn the walls of my cave

Where I stayed for many an hour

And counted down

‘Til my body became electricity

The pull of the world

Became too much of a fullness

As I pledged

To fulfil this promise

And bloom alive


Red bus, black taxi

Chimney stack, block flats

People pile underground

Travel round and round and round

Sharp suit, stiff tie

Coffee kick, nicotine high

Flat desk, computer screen

This is your career dream

12 hour day, slave to the wage

Pay rent, money spent

Big Ben, round clock

The city never stops

The city never stops

Traffic fumes, all consuming

Traffic jam, stuck again

Horns beep, anger swells

Good job, pays well

Read the paper on the tube

Football, weather, daily news

Distant war, film review

Keep walking, keep working

Keep moving, sense of purpose

Can’t stop, no time

Working hard is not a crime

Look smart, dress the part

Concrete streets, concrete heart

City spreads, swallowing green

We are dying with the trees


The flower doesn’t open

And drink in the sun

Until it’s known

The tightness of the bud

Blossoming petals ripen

Through grace and perfect timing

They can’t be punished

Into blooming


A tree emerges

From all the promise contained

In the lexicon of the acorn

A noun become a wondrous

Verb, all action, all reaching,

Offering shade to passing people

The oak stands tall, its rings

Tell tales of hardship borne with

Patience and forbearing

Wearing layers of its story

Every beginning is a kind of

Ending, spring into action

Weeping leaves in the storm

Of autumn

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