Now, I’m no paragon but an epigone, the keener-eyed of the eyes that chance on this will see it as a pastiche of Ted Hughes’ well-known and appreciated ‘Thought Fox’. So….my homage to him.
The Inkling Sylph
I imagine this midnight moment’s bedroom…
Something else is alive
Beside the friendless four walls’ gloom,
And this dim screen where my fingers idle.
Through the slats I see no distance;
Something more near—inside,
Though deeper within darkness,
Is tiptoeing around the silence…
Deft; as light as its own shadow,
A sprite’s air touches, drape, and veil;
To serve a movement, that now—
And again now, and now…stirs mind
Sets cobweb a-sway between lamp and shade
Between door, and surplus gown.
Motes lifted by draft, and in wake
Of a body only in spirit.
Across floorboards, two eyes,
A widening sapphiric blue,
Mesmerising—centred on me,
And their business.
Till a sudden, sharp stab of quill
Enters the dark hole of the mind.
The slats separate the fog still; the cobwebs sway.
The blog is entered.
What to make of this:
I climbed the big thug tree; a resident of a neighbour’s garden, an overgrown cypress, its moniker a natural choice as its profile cuts that of that a mugger about to mug. I had my family in tow; hand over fist and heel over instep we ascended till we reached a height a flag would be happy to flap at. Me a little more aloft in that tree than they. Bending away a couple of its bushy branches I peered through the opening as an adventurer would onto an undiscovered land. Over and a-skimming the surrounding rooftops, away, about three hundred yards, there rose another tree from the blanket of tile and slate. Far, far mightier and taller than my present podium. A fast grower I deduced, a fighter for light, a junglonian canopy maker. To a height of about a hundred feet its branches were chainsawed to be like the stumps of poached rhino horn. That was only half-way–for above this a man-made wooden structure gripped the trunk. A neat and sturdily planked treehouse; the finer quality of its detail not discernible in the distance–in the dream. And from its grasp erupted a green cauliflower like cap of foliage splayed as if squeezed from the bole to provide shade. Now, odd enough this may sound so far, it gets odder:
Decking surrounded that treehouse enclosure with nought but a fat single-stranded rope fence to ring-fence its edge. On that decking: apes, gorillas and chimps,apparently partying madly (no party hats, streamers or poppers I noted)–their gutteral whoops and muscular dancing diminished to a safe unthreatening comedy on yonder stage. That’s what I assumed, the party theme, their activity’s frenetic tone was actually quite indecipherable if it was to be thought about; my ignorance serving up only an optimistic summary. “Would you get a look at this!” I yelled to my fellow climbers, who all hoisted themselves sharpish to my soon-straining branch. There we shared the spectacle, all watching agog and perplexed at the simian miniatures’ movements and enjoying the scene’s peculiarity. That was until a bunch of apes, seemingly headed by an alpha, singled out a victim and tossed him from the tree. High spirits or jinx gone wild? Maybe. The usual merriment, I concluded, it wasn’t. Doomwardly down went the primate, the party was over for him for sure. I averted my eyes to the splat and the fluid gore those gorillas and gravity had gotten him to give to pavement. Instead I leapt for consciousness; landing awake, in my own fluid, a pool of cool sweat.
I was in discussion once on a writing forum re. the reason for rhymes. When a contributor unleashed a little of his mostly rhyme-less creativity; it read thusly:
I heard a man
with spider-fingers and
picking the blues on a train
where the air stunk of brimstone.
He played with a skeletal sway
to his shoulders,
a kamikaze grin stitched
upon his face and
the shadow of a swagger in his hips.
Each chord that he wrung out
from that ragged banjo
juddered and jigged,
dancing to a hangman’s tune,
moaning like dying men on their gibbets.
Insanity gibbered there,
his fingers and the fretboard.
A more poetic soul than I might damn him
for the hellfire that clung
to every note he strummed,
damnation made visceral,
if not physical.
I didn’t care.
I just listened…
Rather good eh?
I know not his name nor from where he hailed – but boy I enjoyed his poem.