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This is a poem I wrote in stages over 2016 as I was progressively decluttering the house and my mind. Hopefully it will serve as a reminder if I am tempted to go down the path of acquiring more stuff than I actually need.

Abundance is a false promise
That life will be OK.
We have everything we need, and more
To see us through the rainy days.
 
But still we fill our wishlists
Of more things we just must have
And the things that need replacing
And the things we need to save.
 
A house, a car, a holiday
Are all things on the list
But it’s the little things that every day,
That we simply can’t resist.
 
And then there are collections
And all the shiny things
That feed our latest obsessions –
In our hearts, they are kings.
 
We justify the expenditure
And find somewhere to keep them.
The extras will be insurance
For when hard times come a’creepin.
 
So bargain basements have their day,
And quality goods will pay their way,
If in pristine condition they stay.
(Of course this means they get packed away.)
 
There’ll come a day, we’ve all been told
When we are really short of cash
That we will be so grateful for
The things we’ve horded in our stash.
 
In the meantime, we must live a life
That keeps pace from day to day,
Which means we buy the latest phone
While ours still works quite OK.
 
We devour the latest gadgets
And see all the latest shows
To new tech we are all magnets
There is always something new to choose.
 
We keep the old ones, just in case
We’ll store them in a special place,
There’s still a bit of room under the bed,
Or else in the garage or garden shed.
 
What if the new one decides to break?
We might just need spare parts.
The old ones might be handy, for goodness sake!
(Or parting with them might break our hearts.)
 
But there’s another price we pay
When we start to realise
That all those things don’t mean a thing –
They were just stars before our eyes.
 
Some years later when it is time
To move; we’ll regret the day
When we kept all those old dusty things
And now they’re just in the way.
 
What on earth possessed us, way back then,
To build clutter to the rafters,
With things we thought we needed, when
All we did was horde and breed disaster.
 
It’s not too late, I’ve seen the light,
I’m ditching it all with relish,
It’s to the tip. Or if it seems all right
To someone else to cherish.
 
And as I find myself minimised,
I feel free, but a little bit empty,
As I know that now we are downsized
There’ll be no more retail therapy.
 
But wait, there’s that gadget I saw the other day,
And there’s a new book I want to read;
I’ve given all my clothes away,
There’s a sale on, that’s just the shirt I need.
 
It’s still a learning curve for me,
But my resolve I will not shirk –
‘Cause it’s easy to go on a buying spree,
But ditching stuff is just plain hard work.

© Julia Kaylock, 2016

This work may not be reproduced in full or part, in any form, without the express permission of the author.

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