Beside a candle late at night
My glasses on and all was quiet;
With candles as my reading light,
After all day walking by the sea,
As though it were a dream, it seemed,
I’d brought a ragged book with me.
I then heard faint upon the door
Three soft knocks and then no more.
My book I sat beside the table
On a lamp stand less-than-stable,
walking fast as I was able
Across the floor and to the door,
The candle in my shaking hand
was sitting on a candle stand
Looking out I dared implore, and stood—
Gazing at a moon-bathed wood.
Nothing there but trees, but quiet
twisted elms with shrubs beside it
a shadow of its form behind it
I felt between my toes the grass,
And somewhere heard a young girl laugh.
Like shadow puppets on a wall,
dancing lively – standing tall
I saw a young girl’s shawl and dress
Drift into the wilderness.
The dress was blue, and lined in lace
the cold wind blew against her face,
I followed her and then she turned,
She would not look at me, and spurned,
I came to the end of a turn-around—
And, reaching it, I nothing found:
Just a whisper low, it said:
“Want to know what it’s like to be dead?”,
Terror crept through, terror ran,
Kicking up the night-time sand,
Her childish laughter ringing out,
“What,” I said, then turned to shout:
“Tell me what it’s all about.”
The rustling of the midnight leaves,
It almost seemed to speak to me;
Again I heard the voice, ahead,
A sleeping owl woke and said—
to the jester on the throne it read:
“We’ve all awaited you.”
I saw nothing but peered through,
The woods a subtle tint of blue,
strange it was for me, to see,
A lonely owl speak to me.
“Who,” it murmured, “Who?” it said,
Again, “What’s it like to be dead?”
In the ground not far away
I saw the curtail of the blue dress sway
Then her brown eyes clear as day,
She found a mirror on the ground,
and walked through it without a sound,
I went through too and thought I knew;
Where I was when washed ashore,
the same words came just as before.
The girl between the trees—she said,
“What does it feel like to be dead?”
There was a trap-door in the woods,
We passed through it then we stood;
The fireflies binary light—
like the lost stars glowing bright,
they flickered in the dead of night.
Across the stream were flower seeds,
the rain came down like silver beads;
The lonely water then settled still
The see-through child set on the hill.
“It’s just like sleeping, ‘lone and still,
Unconscious but to look above,
Just as a pool of water does.
When the body turns to air,
The suffering of the soul at rest.
If you upon the myths rely,
You’ll drift just like the dragonfly,
From time to time for nothing—chance,
trapped inside the devil’s hands.