I can’t remember the last time I slept. Not really slept, like a child.

The days blend as you get older. My children still face each day as a new adventure. But me – the ticking clock is my pulse and it never stops, weaving day and night into one seamless quickstep.

Every night there’s a whisper in my broken dreams. The voice is small and still; a child, or spirit. But I’m neither awake or asleep, and a gale blows in my soul and a fire burns in my head and I lie on shaky ground.

The truth is I’ve been running, day and night, year on year. Running away; from myself, from what I’ve become – the carnage and the triumph; running from you – king, queen, prophet, peasant. I want to please you, but I can’t stand your gaze. Don’t look at me, not now, not deeply.

But in this mountain cave, across this desert I’ve found Sinai. Origin, palladium, presence.

Time leaks here. I’ve got to get up, and wash up, and tidy up, and get down to work! There’s no time to lose, no time like the present. But time leaks and I’ll keep running. The clock ticks.

Dearest Rain, cleanse us; kill the empty fire, quell the wind and soften our shaky ground. For we chased a shadow, and now we’re so far from home.

From the archives. Inspired by the biblical story of Elijah in 1 Kings 13.  I wrote this back in 2013, after seven sleep-deprived years with young children and at a stage in my life where my work was exciting but also overwhelming. I had just turned 33, the age at which hobbits come of age. It became a threshold over which I felt a strong resonance. Coming of age and the accelerating clock are the backdrop to a poem that has been quietly important to my last 7 years.