something strange is pining by candle-light
moves to touch me, as deadly day bright falls
away to church shadows gracing bare walls
with the open deepness of a cruel night
the harsh angles become soothed in my sight
while the flames make the corners softly warm
so I can begin to feel safe from harm
hidden, in this room, from thoughts of flight
I lit candles to share my loneliness
remembering you said you liked the glow
the way it would fill my room, you know,
with such mystery as tender closeness
I hope both ends burning can fill me too
for I’ve been an empty house without you
The lines are longer than usual, for me. The images are carefully honed for uniformity & clarity. There is a more Catholic undertone to this that I realized at the time I wrote it. The lighting of candles is a very Catholic ritual. At this time I enjoyed candles, those scented ones where very popular. Even Zeller’s had a rack of them.
There’s also that trope of writing by candle light, which I did try a few times but it was far to dim & not pretentious enough without an audience. I sense some Dylan Thomas in the use of language here – those church shadows – deepness of a cruel night. Or maybe that’s Procol Harum 🙂
Another piece about lost love, unrequited love & the longing that goes with it. More than a touch of self-pity – woe is me alone in the dark & being very romantic about it all. I sure enjoyed melodrama in those days. Maybe it tries too hard to be poetic as it verges on greeting card for that ending.
It also has a veneer of heterosexual love about it. Not that gender is specified. I was fumbling with my own coming out, claiming to be bi & so adopted this ambiguous sexuality in my writing. In fact there is no lust in this piece. I’m writing about the finer love that transcends the physical 🙂 There was no one in my life then anyway so I was not left to feel like an empty house. The piece is a pose not an experience.
I do have a limited number of the original Distant Music chapbook for sale for $25.00 each (includes surface mail postage). Send via the paypal above along with where to send it.