My Novel Life

My Novel Life

A Poem by John Alexander McFadyen

Where we are today is full of memories often long forgotten.


My Novel Life

Swans in dog collars,

feathers turned black

from the oil spills

of too many sins,

herded me into my youth;

they had me making incense infused incantations.

But the sewer rats of Glasgow,

with their blades and skinhead cuts,

dancing to A Clockwork Orange

and slashing the faces of the Celtic faithful,

made me abandon belief.

I saw the insincerity of worship too.

So many who were Christian

but only on Sunday,

hollow souls of wax.

I learned disappointment, resentment and anger.

And that anger has stayed,

haunted my anxiety,

left me weak, as the blood of trust

and childhood, fairytale hope,

seeped from my veins.

Nineteen-eighty-four came and went

and I was never a Swallow or an Amazon.

More Crusoe, abandoned on an island

bereft of reason,

starved of meaning and searching for

any passing ship that would take me home,

away from the damned flies.

Those damned flies!

The unrest, the social collapse

of civilisation.

And so I yearned for Simon's serene open space

full of aromatic bushes and flowers,

until he died, a beast.

I longed to end Piggy's pain,

and I fell with him to the sand

where a long sleep awaited.

When I awoke on the gurney

the world was empty,

apart from the blind

and of course John Wyndham's

killer plants.

I tried so hard to climb the Matterhorn

to rise above the clouds

but the dark deceit of Maclean's  Ice Station

froze my heart.

Until I washed up on Chesil Beach

thinking love and romance were real.

But McEwan wouldn't let me believe

as he wrung out the dirty laundry.

So decades of sinking and sinking again,

and trying to squeeze the sponge dry

of transgressions have left their mark,

and now I still live in the shadow of the crow,

and Black Dogs make me fearful.



© 2017 John Alexander McFadyen

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Featured Review

What a literary journey- a coming of age chronicled in your epic "Novel Life" John! Killer imagery- "sewer rats of Glasgow, with their blades and skinhead cuts, dancing to A Clockwork Orange"...Harry Chapin did it for music. You did it for books...Bravo!

Posted 1 Year Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

John Alexander McFadyen

1 Year Ago

Thank you so very much Annette.


Strange how life just passes by in our futile search for meaning, for miracles. Frustatingly uneventful. Loved the analogy of being stranded isolated on an island. Another powerful write John.

Posted 1 Year Ago

John Alexander McFadyen

1 Year Ago

Yes it took me back to my childhood and youth thinking about this one Divya. Many thank yous.
I'm loving all of the literary references in this!

Posted 1 Year Ago

John Alexander McFadyen

1 Year Ago

Many thanks YAK. There are loads more but that is it for now.

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12 Reviews
Added on July 14, 2017
Last Updated on July 15, 2017


John Alexander McFadyen
John Alexander McFadyen

Brixworth, England, United Kingdom

Well, have a long and complicated story and started it as an autobiography on Bebo but got writer's block/memory fogging. People liked it though and kept asking for the next chapter! fools.. more..


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