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Friday, 5 July 2013
The Empty Box
Opening the matchbox
is a safety curtain raised
an opera revealed
a space completely filled
by a vertical black wheel,
a stationary hub
round which the stage
proscenium arch and orchestra
are turned like turtles, like a page
of music that the maestro missed.
Watch when the box is upside down
how every match has tumbled out
and struck its flame upon the ground...
From sight comes sound
from fire comes song,
the matches dance off two-by-two
in high duet or pas de deux.
Shadows fall of spoke and rim,
fire turns the wheel that would not move,
the world must follow in its groove
and all obsessed by flame or song
be crushed beneath the awesome heft.
What will be left?
The matchbox holding empty space
remakes itself and finds the grace
for buffalo and killer whale,
an octopus, a small boy's zoo
of mini-beasts from underground --
revolting seen in morning light --
that turn most adults chalky white.
It's from this box your nightmares come.
Abhoring vacuums, nature boasts
that little boys oft help it out,
that vacuums are a nightmare's home,
an empty box a place for ghosts.
The matchbox closed, the small boy smiles:
he's trapped a world with childish wiles.
What when your muse moves to dispense
inspiring thoughts that make no sense?
Beneath the blankets through the night
the small boy makes his curtain calls,
the matchbox opening a chink.
Man thinks of God with thoughts that shrink.
Anna at dVerse Poets Meeting the Bar: Critique and Craft is asking us to consider Atmosphere in our writing.