Poem for Critique 018: Tomorrow’s Past Life by Jim Scott

JimWelcome to my Online Poetry Writing Group and the eighteenth poem submitted to this blog for feedback. This piece is by Jim Scott.

Please do comment in the section below telling us what you liked about this poem and, what if anything, the author could do to improve upon it. Thank you – it’s very much appreciated!

Jim also says, “Although this poem has already been published and performed many times, a poem is NEVER finished for it can always be improved.  So I seek general comments; what worked, what didn’t, what parts were liked the best, how well it flowed, if any rhymes or lines seemed forced, whether it held true to the theme or meandered into other areas, etc.  Anything that might help improve it or subsequent poems.”

Tomorrow’s Past Life

There was once a time when my life was filled with living;
Adventure and excitement scattered all across this earth.
I was in my prime, with so much just ripe for giving.
To wander seemed the reason for my birth.
But now my life has changed, I seldom travel fifty mile.
Adventure’s turned to mortgage. Mine’s a sedentary style.
My freedom’s now an office, distant romance an ex-wife.
I have to find the path that leads me on to my old life

So that just once more I can sail the endless ocean,
Or track the old bull wildebeest, and dive amongst the whales.
Watch the condors soar. Change my plans on any notion
To seek of lands heard in a stranger’s tales.
Is that so very much to ask? I’ve known it so before.
The hunger and the plenty, forest snow and desert shore.
The laughter and the loneliness, the passions and the pain.
But still there’s lands I didn’t see, and those I’d see again

If I found a way to undo these chains that bind me,
Not harming those I love nor running from the debts I owe.
I should leave today! Going where no one could find me,
Not caring what I’d seek or where I’d go.
But that’s now how my dreams are made; awake I see the truth:
The bank, the schools the eight to five, so absent from my youth,
Now plot against my wanderlust, my yearning for the road
To hide the path I’m seeking that I once so freely strode.

But there’ll come a time when the house is bought and paid for,
The kid’s are all through college and the pension’s guaranteed.
Then I’ll start to climb back toward the life I’m made for;
My chains released, my spirit once more freed.
Though twenty years may lie between this moment and that day,
It waits on the horizon as a cairn which points the way.
A monument to travellers; emancipation’s prize!
A mark to set my compass bearing steady in my eyes
So that I can see that my life is far from finished.
And some day I will live again adventures yet untold.
Where the wind and me, with a passion undiminished,
Will find that younger life I knew of old.


Thank you, Jim. Folks, please do comment below.

book coverJim Scott was raised in Old Shoreham in the south of England and since leaving school as soon as he was able has travelled pretty much the rest of his life covering “five continents and three oceans” (the title of his first book).  Merchant navy apprentice in India, attacked by a rattle snake on the Inca trail, farming during African insurgent war, shipwrecked in Portugal, surfing in Morocco, making dream catchers with a Mohawk shaman in Canada, battling Caribbean hurricanes, coordinating maritime search and rescue missions, commercial diving in the Mediterranean; his numerous real life adventures have inspired the dozens of true stories and scores of lyrical “songs and verses” (his third book’s title) he has written.  Now at 60, having raised three great kids, for several years as a single dad, he melds the unique experiences of an incredible life with a passion for writing and is soon to publish book 2 to complete the “Wanderings and Sojourns” trilogy (published out of sequence… a little like his wayward life has been) “On Tropical Islands and Sparkling Seas”. Jim’s website is www.wanderingsandsojourns.com.


If you’d like to submit your poem for feedback on this blog see Submissions and / for consideration for the weekly Post-weekend Poetry slot on my main blog, take a look here.

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For writers / readers willing to give feedback and / or writers wanting feedback privately, take a look at my main blog’s Feedback page.

My online writing blog / Facebook groups are:

Morgen’s Online Non-Fiction Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Novel Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Short Story Writing Group

Morgen’s Online Script Writing Group

Thank you for reading this and we look forward to your comments.


5 responses to “Poem for Critique 018: Tomorrow’s Past Life by Jim Scott

  1. Interesting poem. Barbara Fifield

  2. Very nice. A short concise poetical story. I enjoyed it.

  3. Thank you very much, ladies. I’ve passed on your comments.

  4. What you write about is a feeling that I think quite a few of us can relate to. Thanks for sharingt. Jim, I wonder if you are familiar with the poem “Ulysses,” by Alfred, Lord Tennyson. It is another poem with a similar sentiment. Perhaps you would be in a position to appreciate it. I have always been moved by it.


  5. Thanks all for posts. Bill. Yes, I am indeed familiar. Interestingly at a recent reading event here in Canada I met a great-grand-niece of Tennyson who purchased a copy of my book 3 “The Songs and Verses” for her mother to read to her elderly father. His name was Lloyd Tennyson.

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