The Box

I sat outside
a summer house
beside a swimming pool
in the garden
of a large house in Surrey.

Talked through my history,
my defects, with a lady
who morphed into
a beautiful fairy.

When I had done,
I wrapped up my words,
packed them away
in a box, put
leather straps around it,
stored it away
in the undergrowth.

It remains there
to this day.

I am aware I can
go back anytime I want,
open it, poke through
its interior.

But to do that would
expose me to all that
fear and desperation.

Can I be sure they
would not overwhelm me?
I cannot.

So the box remains where it is.


15 Responses to “The Box”

  1. Hi David,

    a lovely poem, full of imagination. The story that comes with it, to guess about. Maybe one day you might dig the box up and open it! Who knows…

    I think you mentioned this buried box in another poem too?

    Arohanui 🙂 xxx

    • Thank you Ina,

      That particular box will never be opened – I have no need to do so.
      There were some words which did not go into the box – words of beauty.
      Those I used to provide the basis for a better future.

      I have mentioned the box in another poem – it is very significant part of my story

      Arohanui 🙂 xxx

  2. I love this for different reasons. First it talks about where you were on that day and how far you have travelled since. And secondly it has a ripple effect which takes me back to those days at Fulford.

    Reading this reminds me how much courage it takes to create such a box.

    Love you loads

  3. interesting and lovely poem, David. Some memory boxes better keep buried me think, because that’s why we buried them 🙂
    groetjes, Francina xx

  4. Should I have made such a box? I have not. I certainly understand this poem, David. I understand especially why you made the box and buried it after telling a lady about its contents. Life is not what we imagined while we were young. It is not all straight lines to a nirvana of sunsets and heroism. Instead there are false starts, no starts, trails into howling wilderness, mistakes, good walks through a good wood where birds are singing, and complexities that are three dimensional and absent of the clear voice of God. Which way do we turn to find out who we really are? Still, you have found the path of the poet and a wisdom sprouted out of the box that will never be unburied. You have written poems, like this one, that spark rainbows into reader’s experiences and let people know that you have found a good path even if the complexities of possible journeys still go out in every direction from where you are at in England by the sea where seagulls fill the skies and storms roll in winter and summer. There are those who wonder if poetry has a reason for existence in a contemporary world where electronic impulses spark all over the world in seconds. I say that David Agnew is reason enough for poets writing poetry. Honesty and an effort to shape words into meaning that substances into other lives helps those who care to look that above the undergrowth where painful memories are stored is a variable sky that shines with sun some days and chills bones as snow whips off the ocean in great gusts on other days. This is a strong poem, my friend.

    • Ah, thank you Tom

      One of the bonuses of my later life is the discovery of poetry. It has something to say and it says it in a way which no other medium can achieve. And writing it helps me keep in touch with who I really am.

      I do hope that both you and Ethel have settled well into your new location.


      • Sturgeon Bay Wisconsin is a beautiful place, David. I think Ethel feels much better here than in New Mexico. Being closer to our daughters is a blessing. I have had a more difficult time, but am hopefully adjusting. I have worked all my life, even as a child doing chores in my father’s grocery store, and retirement, even though I am still working part-time, has sapped energy from me. I am writing, though, so there is good hope on the horizon.

      • Ah Tom,
        I found when I retired that it took time to adjust to the different rhythms of life.

        And as I get older there are further adjustments to be made!!!

        But, all in all, I am content with where I am

  5. LadyBlueRose's Thoughts Into Words Says:

    my curiosity wants to open the box…
    but …there’s always that word to be followed by?
    I wonder, are you waiting for the Faerie to come back…
    I think we all have an energy that makes us feel safe enough to
    share our darkest shadows…when we have that, I think maybe we
    store that safeness with the box too…
    This is a beautiful poem, one that makes me think from many different directions…
    as I always do when I read your thoughts…
    Thank you….
    Take Care…You Matter…

    • Ah Maryrose, I think it is necessary to share our darkest shadows before we put them away in the box.
      That way then there would be two people who would know if I chose to open the box!!!

      Thank you


  6. Those darned boxes…
    Excellent poem.

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