Saturday, November 03, 2007

Falling back: an autumnal verse

Tonight we turn the clocks back an hour, and invoke a little sooner the crisp and quiet nights of late Autumn. It's a time of shortening days and lengthening shadows, and it puts me in mind of a poem I wrote quite a few years back.

Caught up in the solitude of an empty house, I lay in bed and watched the silhouettes of back-lit branches dance against my walls. There was something magical in the interplay of moonlight, wind and trees at that moment, and I tried to capture the sense of it in the following irregular lines.

Shadowed Box
By Francis Scudellari

This shadowed box of light,
moon projected on my wall,
a moving portrait, screened,
hung above my head,
is my soul
as I lie
through the night;
a stick-dance stage upon which
my beloved
ghosts will play.
Now lurking behind folds of cloth,
their jagged silhouettes
will burst forth
only in closed
eye sleep,
to dance in spell-cast dreams,
and beckon me
toward that portal
through which,
if I find my belief,
I might step,
only to be washed away
with morning
and the sun's flooding rays.
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