The Last Story of a Storyteller's Life. Part VII of Pictures of The Lost

The Last Story of a Storyteller’s Life. Part VII of Pictures of The Lost

He told me, and there was no reason to doubt the dying,

That he had walked the plank, fought with sharks,

Danced with mermaids, and he thought he’d lived his life to the full.

Now he embraced just stories, he never abandoned words,

Hoping they’d return the love he’d lived,

And poetry would bring back his lover,

Who had left in him in his alcoholism of memories.

They did not add up to togetherness in the end.

Anyway, he, this storyteller, recounted intricacies,

Moments, like the first touch, emotions became a living history,

From just a kiss, young lovers were on their great adventure cheating death.

Oh in his life, he had laid as many women as he could.

And now he was faithful, and there was an irony,

She had left him for a life with a carpenter.

He who had studied Divinity and Philosophy at Cambridge,

asked what else was there but confabulation.

We are all outside the garden walls selling ballroom tickets,

Thinking to help young writers write their dreams…

He ended as an atheist, answering no maker’s call,

He had made up his life to the end, like we all do.

He had called his love again and again and got no answer,

And that was an answer, unlike his favourites, Aquinas or Augustine,

Who got their answers but gave up philosophy to believe instead.

Yes, he called for her to the very end.

‘Shall I go on he asked….  with this story till its resolution?

The dead can still call out,’ he laughed.

‘Storytelling is hope, revolving art to a better truth of events,

There’s always a chance of escape in a story’ he smiled.

‘Listen, can you hear the silence?’ he asked.

A Morbius loop of memories was made for his last nights,

Mornings brought nothing but the same nothings.

No word of consequence from his lover.

As the hospital lights flashed, the generators were overwhelmed.

There was no choice on offer, except welcoming MRSA,

His belly swelled up, so he could hardly move.

He had regretful visits from his half lost son.

I saw him last, he died alone.

But who conducted his busy funeral,

where strangers talked happily of him?

His lover had come back and cried.

He would appreciate this amusing song she said,

The popular, ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.’

Which was only half true

In the ironic life of the storyteller.


Paul Gallagher

I was a script consultant on feature films including, 'The Bird Catcher' [2017],‘Starred Up’ [2013]and ‘Desiree [2016].My company is developing a number of film projects and we are looking for new ideas , Check out the site,

I've had many short stories, poems, and articles published, and a book '‘Dancing In the Waves'’ [Mer 1998].For ten years I was editor of ‘Screenwriter magazine.

Ihave run European writing workshops and lead the MA Screenwriting programme at Birkbeck College,, London University.I founded and am on the board of Euroscript, the UK's premier independent script training company.My full profile is on

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