Poem: Dance By Candlelight


Dance by candlelight,
Though it took us a long while to get here,
Circumambulating the sacred mountain, tolling
The bells of raven’s calls, kestrels hovering as
Though suspended on strings as we this spiny
Ridgeway walk, over outcrops of sandstone,
Forests teetering precipitous on the lips of
Landslides. Pipits leaping out of gorse and
Heath to be personified as leopard-print
Mushrooms rising out of rotting timber,
Lichen caking everything in the ancestry
Of crystal pure air

But we never discovered the mystery of the stolen wood,
Hot-air balloons rising horizonwards. We drove through
The Valleys, slag heaps, stone bursts, and the chill air of
Keeper’s Pond, to see bridges half-constructed in mid-air,
Built by cranes pushing their hands through the roots of
Clouds – buildings burned out – buildings abandoned –
Stray cats housed, and rockeries unvisited by vole or

It is a different world up here,
Where the pink ling yields to the Martian surface
Of autumn, where spindle bushes fruit in public gardens,
Where a screen connects me to you hundreds of miles away,
Every pixel a prison of yearning

I am sorry for my sourness, my irritability,
My sulky moods – this creature, unhabituated to desire,
And spun in the solitude of his own mind’s caverns

I do not want to be a trial to you,
A hardship of endurance,
A craggy mount –
A fist of thorns

But I am no smooth-lipped sailor:
Mine are turbid waters, bespeaking a surface
Of serenity concealing many shipwrecks –
I am sweet, thorny, heavy, fruitful, and unyielding
As bramble o’er gravestone – I am the malleability
Of melted and re-solidified steel, wielded in the coils
Of a serpent

I am the moonbeam’s muscles –
The storm call of a throstle –
The dreaded wish of penny in fountain –
Or a tuppence in the throat of a swan

But somewhere beneath this petticoat of ice,
You unfrosted me – took off my corset –
And enabled me to feel a desire for which
I may or may not have been made

But desire is a fire,
Sending out embers of hope and needful expectation,
And the desire to love, and to surrender one’s self,
Can come so near to dashing on the rocks of selfishness,
As a ship, it becomes hard to steer

But each and every moment needn’t be amplified so –
You can turn a butterfly wing into the winking eyelash
Of God – the tinkling of harpsicord in golden ballroom,
Treading a minuet of careful proportions

Cannot you subdue me and rinse these bad moods from me?
I can be heavy as cement – unyielding as ancient crag –
A standing stone refusing to budge –
Unable to be dragged by man –
All men must come to it

So, you put on your gloves,
Putting your hand softly into my chest,
And say: “Stop being such a drama queen!
You’re nowhere as bad as you think you seem!”
And feeling understood, softened and surrendering,
I let my tensions thaw into healthy tears



4 thoughts on “Poem: Dance By Candlelight

  1. Good Day Mr. Tourettes, and pleasant greetings.
    I’m writing after having thought I would not. That is the best compliment I can think of. Your work is quite captivating. I can compare it to no other, nor would I. Thank you. It was an enriching experience to have found your site, and I look forward to reading more. In the interest of fairness and reciprocity, I’ve shared a link to some of my own work. I fear it is not a fair exchange, and must warn you some of my work is both odd and crude. I, however, appreciate a diversity of writing styles, and hope you might as well. Russell

    Liked by 1 person

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