Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Stepping out



As darkness settled around the metropolis, we came; wearing hope and sorrow on our backs, as we stepped out into the city that never sleeps. 
The lights on the river reflected the lights on our wrists, as we wove our way through wakeful streets, past luxury goods illuminated in soft glowing spotlights; silent, shuttered shops....and the shrouded silhouettes of the dispossessed; curled under sleeping bags in shadowed doorways, seeking oblivion in the arms of restless sleep.
We passed pubs, bars and clubs spilling their music  through open doorways, and  revellers out onto the pavement; dressed up, made up, suits, heels and amorous glances... perfume and aftershave mingling with the scent of just extinguished cigarettes, and the fumes of bus exhausts.  
Step by step, mile by mile we trod the paths of a city pulsing with life; pushing fears of death into dark recesses, absorbing the warmth and comfort of strangers spurring us on.... and when our legs grew leaden, voices stilled, and the final miles seemed to stretch to infinity; we watched the sun rise reflecting in the river, reminding us of why we came.... and we shone.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Shadow play

I have never been afraid of the dark. Even as a child it enfolded me like a soft blanket; as cocooned in the comfort of my warm bed, I gazed at shadowy objects round the room - their lines blurred by the coming of night.

 On those damp Autumn evenings, when the dwindling sun cast thin lines of palest rose to bleed into deepening clouds;  and shadows lengthened as the sky turned to indigo; we could be found in the garden, torch in hand, playing  wild games of 1,2,3 home.... The excitement intensified by the threat of being caught in a sudden blinding beam of torchlight. With soft tread, and hearts in mouths, we would creep from deep shadow to deep shadow; smothering nervous giggles as we inched our way past the nominated torch bearer before committing to that final mad dash towards the tree designated 'home'.

Even now, if I wake tangled in sheets, befuddled by unremembered dreams, it is not a familiar circle of lamplight I seek; rather it is the stillness of the dark house and  gentle sound of crickets singing to the moon. Yet lately,  a whisper of dark shadow on light box screen has shaken my trust in the benevolence of darkness... leading me perhaps to seek out those small pools of soft light that comfort and protect; keeping small daemons at bay.