Can you smell that? Earth’s firedamp lingering. We need more than flames, more than metal sieves, to ward off danger. Old Humphry swung his lamp in mindless times, when men were cheap and seams were rich with black.
Can you hear that? Diminished songs of life. Yellow feathers float silent as unsung nursery rhymes, and coils of ropes no longer skipped or jumped. The playground’s empty, save for slurried stacks.
Can you see that? Where black stones mark the spot? Illumination seems a pointless thing when we close our eyes. But when the flame expires and all is dark, What then, my world, will ever bring you back?
Linking this to The Sunday Blog Spot and today’s Sunday Muse photo prompt. ( http://thesundaymuse.blogspot.com/). Tried an extension of a duodora and went for three verses.
Clouds are not really white, or grey, or pink – they are a mix of all the light put into them, (I read somewhere).
I saw a cloud above the bay, a dazzling iridescence of such brightness it hurt my eyes to look for long.
I wondered, then, if you were up there, (the random ’there’ where we put all our loved ones), because surely only pure light would mark your place.
Perhaps you looked down, at that moment, and saw your family, and recognised us despite the years
and shone your message, onto the pummelled pewter sheet before us and perhaps you said
look up, at this shining cloud, and know that I know I was loved and I would say
how long have I waited for that message? Three score years is less than a raindrop in an ocean of loss.
An amble around West Bay the other day with my eldest son and husband found us looking at a striking cloud, shining over the sea. With the sun behind it the cloud was quite dazzling, as was the reflected light on the water below.
I rested my heart here, For a brief season, Which became a decade, Then more.
No glint of distant armour To catch my fabled eye, Just the crackle and spark From a meagre fire, And scant light where shadows flit, Growing fat as a lord’s bairn, Then thin as a peasant’s, Keeping the rhythm Of my foot, my hands, Bound to a constant wheel And a never-ending yearn.
I found this spinning chair at a charity shop recently and couldn’t resist it.
Nomads are said to know their way by an exact spot in the sky, the touch of sand to their fingers, granules on the tongue. But sometimes a system breaks down. I witness a shift of light, study the irregular shadings of dunes. Why am I traveling this road to Zinder, where really there is no road? No service station at this check point, just one commercant hawking Fanta in gangrene hues. C’est formidable! he gestures — staring ahead over a pyramid of foreign orange juice. In the desert life is distilled to an angle of wind, camel droppings, salted food. How long has this man been here, how long can I stay contemplating a route home? It’s so easy to get lost and disappear, die of thirst and longing as the Sultan’s three wives did last year. Found in their Mercedes, the chauffeur at the wheel, how did they fail to return home to Ágadez, retrace a landscape they’d always believed? No cross-streets, no broken yellow lines; I feel relief at the abandonment of my own geography. I know there’s no surveyor but want to imagine the aerial map that will send me above flame trees, snaking through knots of basalt. I’ll mark the exact site for a lean-to where the wind and dust travel easily along my skin, and I’m no longer satiated by the scentof gasoline. I’ll arrive there out of balance, untaught; ready for something called home.
Each turn winds us closer, Each spent leaf flicked from a branch, Each autumn gust and moan, Each buffeted swooping flock. Until winter seeps again, coal smoky, Over the step, under the lintel, along the scuffed boards, And coats our hearths with its ash.