Darkest Before Dawn

This is from January 1997. A poem about walking in the dark, colliding with the dawn…

Darkest Before Dawn

Movement, just there, branch
Like a windscreen wiper
Over moon. Ineffective.
Then stillness till the screech
Of car beyond
Reminds me of houses
And all that goes with them.

Pennines, slumbering jurassics,
Backdrop to the carnival
Of streetlights
Pitched along
The midway of the valley.
If only I were out there,
Looking back at where I am!

How we hold the past
Like a scrapbook, defacing
The future with memories!
My feet paused here last summer
And a snowfall later
The star-and-shadow sky
Looks much the same.

And however far my feet might
Take me, the return
Will be just memory in reverse;
Even though my hand
Can blot a constellation
It is only for my eyes –
I cannot halt the time

Or change the motion of the skies.
If only it would all stay still,
These moments might collect
Like evidence, a photofit of being.
Too soon, the sun, edge
Rising to slice at sky, opening
The wrists of morning.

1 thought on “Darkest Before Dawn

  1. I really like the image slumbering jurrasics, that is impressive! The last stanza has an almost suicidal feel with the dawn, I like that stanza a lot. There is a lot of poetry in this that is excellent. I’ve written a poem about the dawn with shadows and sunshine. I like that you write about nature , the star and shadow sky. Breathtaking!

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