This is the twilight zone where the light fades
but no clock can tell how long the dark
will take to fall. Facing away from day
the turn of the earth accelerates
towards night, knowing only that arrival
is certain, and the hot desert wind
is coating the olive leaves with dust and
an unfamiliar owl tells midnight
from the cypress tree. And there is no time;
no time. I take a bottle of new wine
from the rack. Two glasses. Place them on the
terrace table where we watch the dusk
creep in towards us from the still-bright sea.
Writing in strict, classical form isn't something I do very often. This was written at George Szirtes’ workshop on Saturday in response to a request to write an irregular sonnet of either 13 or 15 lines. It has an unobtrusive rhyme scheme (some only hinted at) and I’ve tried to keep to the 10 syllables, though some lines have 9 or 11. It still needs a lot of work.
I suppose the right title for this poem would be ‘Tempus Fugit’. It’s my birthday today and I’m very conscious of the fact that there are suddenly many more behind me than there are in front and you have to make the most of every minute!
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