The flickering light calls from
across the disused railway embankment,
a lonely beacon sending signals
into the misty grey dawn.

Quietly questioning a world
still wrapped in strong arms of slumber.
I consider sending an answer,
would that I understood its coded question.

I’m drawn into its intoxicating world by
the pulsating rhythm of its incandescent heart.
My mind drifts, blurring my focus
on the insistent silent sentinel.

The clank of a closing gate
breaks the seductive spell.

It’s time for the next delivery...
The deserted school lies cold and alone.
The mournful silence of its empty halls
punctuated by an occasional click and clank
as old steel arteries creak grudgingly to life.

A mechanical heart starts pumping, once more,
a spring of life into cold dark walls
as tears of condensation beat a reluctant retreat
against an onslaught of warm, thawing breath.

The vacant playground echoes
with the sound of cheerful children
playing games, the like of which
I can only wistfully wonder.

Ethereal specters racing around
in the intangible mind of the dreamer,
with cries of glee and simple song;
smiles and laughter, life-force so strong.

Something distracts me
for no more than an instant
and the restful reverie is gone;
no more than a muted memory.

All is silent,
all is still.
The calm before the storm
of the coming day.

The twinkling taillight tells me
It’s time for the next delivery...
Perched upon a cold wooden bench
I can see the soft shimmer
of early morning dew glistening
on neatly tended lawns.

The tree-lined barrier damp and dripping
moisture from nature’s morning breath
as tireless spiders weave webs of mystery
within the trees bountiful arms.

Leaves of soft, wet leather dance
upon slowly swaying branches.
All is quiet, yet the silence only serves
to intensify sounds so taken for granted.

The melodious calls of fluttering birds
stretching wide, wings of wonder,
the gentle sigh of rustling leaves
disturbed by the cool gentle breeze.

As I sit watching, listening, feeling,
a calmness descends like a warm wooly blanket
and for a single sweet moment in time,
I am at one with the dawn and its waking glory.

Time stands still as
the hypnotic symphony
pulses through my veins
like a euphoric, calming drug.

In a trance-like state
I contemplate
the mesmeric majesty
of the living, breathing world.

But the complaining creak
of the old hall door opening
sends reluctant ripples
across my lake of panacea.

It’s time for the next delivery...
Aching muscles tensing
as I strain to gain
mounting momentum
on my trusty metal steed.

Cold morning air biting
through jacket and jersey
as tears conspire with the chill
to keep secrets from wide watchful eyes.

Panting, as the icy air sears its way
to the very core of my being,
its frozen fingers delving deep inside
to stretch the already waning tide of will.

The squeal of biting brakes
brings me a halt once more,
leaving mind and body to the struggle
for barely concealed composure.

A brief respite at the end
of my torturous trek,
to catch my bated breath
before the long journey back.
I casually ride along the quiet lanes,
marvelling at the dramatic scenery
unfolding before my wonder filled eyes.

The slowly rising sun setting fire
to wind scattered clouds, gently drifting
across the burning skies of dawn.

High and distant vapour trails
blazing their course like crimson scars
across the flesh of the heavens.

Mother Nature in all her grace and glory!
And all the while...
behind the colourful curtains,
beneath their warm sheets
and within their loving arms,
the living silently slumber on.

Sweet dreams!


Written by Darren Scanlon, January 2000.
Revised 5th July 2015.
©2015 Darren Scanlon. All rights reserved.

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