Flickering, wax-coated wicks
lick Fired Earth Buckland Pale
as shadows tongue and groove
the boundaries of a thin-lipped

Aching myogenic organ
ripples harmonica lament;
ritenuto – too late
as torrent overflows,
extinguishing vanilla votives.

Reservoir for human darkness flees
as luminescence smothered;
the phantasm of creativity
its banished companion.



Filed under Free Verse

2 responses to “Shadowplay

  1. My first and second reading left me a little cold –something dense in the lyric cognitions here — and then I saw that “enantiodromia” in the tags and went back at it with a mind ready to read upside down and backward, and there, for me at least, it was, the border between visible and unseen which is candlelit and errs just on either side of it. What a precarious balance, to see out of the corner of one’s eye, to name what doesn’t quite have a name, when whatever one gets clearly in sight becomes then an oppression, hiding a darker truth. Or so I read, and thoroughly enjoyed. Nice Heraclitean bath, too, with all the undersides of candle truths awaiting under a canopy of warm bubbles. 🙂

  2. Thanks Brendan, I always love reading your insightful comments. I was a little concerned that the deeper meaning of this, particularly the last stanza, was being overpowered by the image. That is actually my bath by the way lol I was having a little think about Jung’s theory that, in spite of its darker function, the ‘shadow’ is also the core of creativity and so, for some, represents the true spirit of life.

    It is believed that Jung was influenced by the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, particularly with regard to the existence of a conflict of opposites, or enantiodromia – I originally had this word in an additional line at the end of the last stanza but felt it was too verbose. Heraclitus used this term to describe the endless to and fro process of the eternal flux. The opposites are at war with each other, but within this conflict there is harmony, positive and negative both needing one another.

    So, with all this in mind, while I was soaking in my candlelit tub watching the shadows dance, I was thinking about how if the light disappears so do the shadows and with them creativity. Creativity therefore needs both light and darkness to thrive….little wonder so many of the greatest artists/writers/poets have succumbed to the darkness.

    So much for a relaxing bath eh!

    Will come visit you soon my friend, have been busy getting my youngest son off to university and my academic year starts tomorrow so will be hitting the ground running.

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