by John Anthony Fingleton
A Dead Silence
Yesterday I died of silence -
The muffled death bell tolled,
Vibrating every fibre of my soul.
Dead words scrawled on my tombstone,
Decaying flowers in white cracked bowls,
No hand to write my epitaph;
Still flags of non-alliance,
On worm gnawed timber poles.
The banks along the river,
Held the frost that came the previous night
Shimmering in the early morning Sun;
Erect like icy soldiers - Diligently on guard -
As the waters passed,
Like parade has just begun.
The trees on the other side,
Waving their enthusiastic leaves;
Acted like spectators to the scene,
Like green flags of nature,
Happy, for another day being born,
Reflected in the sky's, burnished golden gleam.
Slowly the morning rose,
And the birds began to stir,
Rising in the glory of the day,
The clouds dispersed, like cobwebs wings-
Dusted by the Sun,
And the frost like an old soldier, faded silently away.
Detained by Darkness
The darkness had a density
I could almost feel its touch,
Slippery sliding fingers on my face,
I could barely see the next step
As I probed with just one foot;
Into that anonymous black space.
I knew the road
I had travelled it,
It was now an alien place,
Sublimated by the element of fear,
I stumbled almost fell,
Until I reached the crossroads bend,
When suddenly it released me,
Into a different atmosphere .
Mending a Dry Stone Wall
My grandfather repaired our dry stone wall,
That his own father had raised in his day,
Carefully choosing the fallen stones,
For the shape and size of their array.
The sound of one falling into place,
Had magic and mystique,
As if some secret thing was being entombed,
That only an old dry wall could keep.
Now it's come down to me,
To walk that dry stone path,
To handle and position stones,
The exact same ones, that have been held for generations past.
To block up where the fox had run,
Or the panic of a hare,
And feel the soft dust on my hands,
Of those ghosts no longer here.
I heard the silent men arrive,
They paused out in the hall,
Whispering to my mother, in hushed tones.
Steady footsteps on the stairs -
The fifth one always creaked,
The sound of wood scraping wood,
As they manoeuvred around the corner post.
A crescendo of muttered prayers,
Came from Granddads room,
Shuffling footsteps -
Sounded on the floor.
Heavy feet descending -
The fifth step creaked again,
Only this time much louder than before.
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