Sunday, August 11, 2013


In Africa there is nothing unusual about losing light,
for there are few gaurantees of anything,
let alone electricity, and always, nearby, there will
be candles, matches and sometimes, a torch.

For those who are fortunate there will also be batteries,
an inverter, or even a generator, so the times without
power, are short, and barely noticed and the darkness
is rarely allowed to shoulder its way into life.

But when there is no backup, nothing on which to rely,
then, in the sheltered, flickering dance of flames,
can be seen the shadows and shapes of a world ignored;
a place where things are not clearly defined, or even real.

In the guttering swallows of burning, incandescent wax,
time falls silent, sighs, drapes itself on unseen floors,
and realms of poignant vision draw themselves mute;
mind summons imagination to full and unexpected heights.

The walls between the known and unknown stretch,
grow thin, sheer like skin pulled slowly paper thin,
until with breath-held, blurred breadth of reaching vision,
it snaps; light restored, in brutal, blazing conquest yet again.


  1. Hey, Roslyn... you put lights going out in a whole new perspective... especially in 3rd stanza. Wow.

    I added your link to the Poetry Jam linky. For some reason it wasn't there.

  2. Wow, you really HAVE given the idea of the lights being out to a new dimension. It must really be a frightening world when there is no backup on which to rely and there is just total DARK.

    1. I used to be frightened of the dark when I was a child - now I love it. But I guess it depends where you live. If there is a threat of violence in a society then it must magnify fear of the dark. I suspect it would bother me in South Africa in ways it doesn't in Malawi and not in the least in Australia.