Dead certainty

Only from the dead can certainty grow.
Those of us who remain behind are too irresolute,
too inconstant to leave a mark that is permanent or true.
Our patterns change, contradict and shift.
Who can believe us when tomorrow we will be other?
It is the dead alone who offer consistency,
a changeless image etched with the acid of their leaving
into our own mutability.
They, our sole constant, show us the truth,
both theirs and ours.


This poem first appeared as part of the March 2012 “Not the Oxford Literary Festival.”

J.S.Watts has published The Submerged Sea (poetry), Dempsey & Windle; Witchlight (novel), Vagabondage Press; A Darker Moon (novel), Vagabondage Press; Cats and Other Myths (poetry), Lapwing Publications; Songs of Steelyard Sue (poetry), Lapwing Publications.

Picture source: Ferran Pestaña