Most of this was written during depression and paranoia/persecution complex. At the time I was being bullied by several classmates at school and the advice about "having to stand up for yourself" did not help. It had nightmares where I was running from something, but was unable to escape. It's a difficult period to look back on, partly because my parents just thought I was "being dramatic". It ended when the ring-leader - a wild child - left the school.


Copyright 1978, Sarah Hartwell

I heard their breath behind me,
As across the windy heath I ran,
I heard the taunting voices,
As I faced oblivion.
I ran over fields and through the sea,
Through the forests of time,
I would race eternity
To keep this dream of mine.

“You cannot run forever”
Said those I could not see,
“No-one can be free forever”
They mocked as they followed me.
“It is useless, it is futile,
We will catch you and destroy,
Destroy the visions in your mind.

You know you must be caught.”
They rode the wind to chase me,
Over land and sea and space,
The others who ran with me,
Did not last the race.
“You cannot run forever”
As from their pursuit I leapt,
But Oh yes! I can, I have to run forever,
I am the last one left.

Copyright 1978, Sarah Hartwell

I am that eternal dream -
You may chase but never find me,
I’ve nowhere left, but still I run,
And still you’re right behind me.

And now there’s nowhere left to hide,
No place to run to anymore,
My quest for freedom unresigned,
Your dream evades you as before.

Copyright 1978, Sarah Hartwell

Far can I run o’er land, o’er sea,
Far since the dawn of time,
Far can I run yet never am free,
Not till the end of time.

Far can I run, far into the sky,
Far will I run until,
I can no longer run nor fly,
For time runs faster still.

Fast you ran but then time flew,
And will always be there chasing you.
For time spares no-one - not you, not I,
Our race ‘gainst time has just begun
         -but still we die.

Copyright 1979, Sarah Hartwell

It seems at last the time has come,
That all they said is true,
For no further can I run,
To run from time is more than even I can do:

I’ve run out of road,
And out of time,
And out of holes,
In which to hide.

Copyright 1977, Sarah Hartwell

You cannot run forever, so the men of learning said,
Our hunters, they will find you and return you live or dead.
No, you cannot flee forever from the horrors of the past,
Fleeing is a short reprieve; your freedom cannot last.

I must run forever, forever and a day,
Run from their rules and promises - the lies I heard them say,
Forever run the gauntlet of their hunters ever near,
From their swift, sure justice with the price that is too dear,
Even if it means I have to run until the end of time,
So that I can then be free to live the life that’s mine.

I’ve darted like the tiring hare before a slavering pack,
Felt the breath of dogs of death, before the hunters
        call them back,
Raced like the fleet gazelle across the arid plains,
Before the lion, and like me it knows it flees in vain.

Flee before our baying hounds, flee panting like the hart,
For tired in this timeless chase you’re doomed before you start!
When for a million years or more, before our pack you’ve fled,
The price unpaid by mortal men is duly paid by dead.

I now have run forever, yet longer still must run,
Still time spins its endless course and this race has not been won;
And though I’ve spent a lifetime chasing the setting sun,
I’m still no nearer to the end than when the race began.

Copyright 1977, Sarah Hartwell

As far as the eye can see,
The shadows are chasing me,
Following always and closing in fast,
Chasing me into the future, these wraiths from the past;
And the beings I flee from are clouding my sight
And driving me onwards into the night.

Copyright 1977, Sarah Hartwell

All through my life the shadows had chased me,
To the brink of my dreams the riders had raced me,
Into the darkness and lonely despair,
Of the land of my conscience and the beasts that live there.
Towards biting cold death I fled from the horsemen,
Running headlong and blindly and knowing that when,
When I had been chased to the land of the dead,
I had left the guilt riders behind in my head.

All through my thoughts the riders had been,
Where I hid behind hope the riders had seen;
Chased me in circles inside my own brain,
Until sure in the knowledge that all hope was slain,
Deep into the caverns of the subconscious mind,
Where I dare not go for what might I find?
No-one can hear all the screams in your head,
And no-body cares until after you’re dead.

On I go faster, ne’er pausing for breath,
In a guilt complex from which all hope has fled;
In a maze of my troubles by a deep sea of fear,
Tortured limbs flying - shadow-riders are near!
In my dream disturbed mind, in mentality’s mazes
(When ignorant people are calling me crazy)
I run for a lifetime and as long as it needs,
From the memories of guilt of my half forgot deeds.


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