Popular Posts

Monday, 26 November 2012

Stalker : the shadow of a darkness

Yesterday English law caught up with Scottish law in one particular: stalking became a criminal offence. Before yesterday nothing was clear-cut as between, for example, stalking and harassment. Now the offence exists, defined in law.

Sometimes a shade that shaded into darkness,
torn from a darkness,certainly,
though not a darkness that she knew --
a shard of blindness
spiking shadows, bleeding them 
of their half light.

Unnatural, this penetrating umbra
moving as she moved,
pausing if she stopped for breath. It entered her
as thought that was not her
thought, but a formless silhouette of thought,
an alter ego, fragmented and searching for itself.
Did they belong together,
she and it? What
had the two of them in common?
Could ordinary selves
immersed in ordinary lives
and this amorphous wisp of soot-dark smoke
belong as one?

Only once safely home,
with doors and windows locked and bolted,
could she look out and in 
the lamplight sometimes see
s spectre solid as herself.
She had begun to see it as a dancer,
a demonic dancer with a role to dance
in some infernal ballet
on a stage she once had thought was hers. Death
By Slow Degrees the ballet was,
It danced the villain, she the victim.
Act One had been her breakdown.
Since when, its former domination of the stage
had turned into their pas de deux.
Through pure emotion such a story's told,
emotion motionless or moving rapidly --
no time for thought or even breath. Everything
that it had done -- that they now did --
flowed from some shade of sentiment, some 
negativity -- and issued in
a devastating fervour.

One night things changed. Stepped up a gear.
The lamplight caught what she had never seen before:
a face, the unseen face she'd dreamed about, the face
that was her story's face, that formed around the simplest
sights and objects, the way that sounds spill out of silence,
movements from a stasis,
feelings from a block of ice. She jumped.
The curtain fell on a denouement of a sort:
another shape that darkness took, amorphous as before --
but spiked this time by railings black as pitch.



11 comments:

Brian Miller said...

a demonic dancer with a role to dance
in some infernal ballet
on a stage she once had thought was hers....scary but that nailed it right there dave...and interesting that this law just made it to your books....there are def some scary obsessed people out there...

Daydreamertoo said...

Phew...you certainly created a creepy atmosphere through all of this.
If she were me, I would be scared for sure.
Another ab fab write Dave, really!

Dick said...

A fine accumulation of images towards a powerful full statement, Dave.

Mary said...

Wow, you really created atmosphere in this poem, Dave!!

SaraV said...

Such suspense and images you created! Love those lines "sounds spill out of silence...feelings from a block of ice" Excellent poem :-)

Margaret said...

She had begun to see it as a dancer,
a demonic dancer with a role to dance
in some infernal ballet

truly mesmerizingly haunting!

Jinksy said...

A stalker in the mind is even worse than the one who walks behind you...

Tommaso Gervasutti said...

Your poems always remind me of classic works I read when I was a student. This latest one carries for me echoes of Edgar Allan Poe, with a penetrating force

Dave King said...

Brian
Yes, thanks for this observation. These lines came only as I was typing the poem into Blogger, and I have to admit I hadn't given them full consideration. I think now that they are more important to the poem than I had realised. Much thanks for pointing out.

Daydreamertoo
Thank you for saying this. It is the sort of write I am never sure about, so especially good to have some feedback.

Dick
Many thanks for this, a really pleasing comment.

Mary
So glad you thought so. Most encouraging. Thanks.

SaraV
Good to have your comments. Thank you so much for them.

Margaret
Thank you, a really warm welcome to you. Your comment is very much appreciated.

Jinksy
Yes, that must be so, but I'm not sure how I would react to either... Thanks.

Tommaso
E. A. P. was one of the first - probably THE first - to stir my childish imagination. I managed to gain access one day to the cupboard behind my Gran's armchair. Within were three books: two volumes of Dickens and one of Poe. They were the start of my love of books. The Pit and the Pendulum outshone all the other tales just then.

Rachel Green said...

Fabulous poem, sir. Very creepy.

I'm glad the law has cracked down on stalking.

A Cuban In London said...

The poem is sinister and beautiful in equal measure. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.