Rituals of Shade Drowsy hang the blooms of light, descending slowly to a night That wanders in and out of me, the shadowed truths of what will be Forever painted in its shade, each velvet promise that was made Beneath cobalt and crimson skies, without regrets or compromise When arms were harbors from life’s pain, a sheltered look out on the rain That diamond danced itself away, another dream soaked yesterday Where summers warmed but never burned, another page of lessons learned Another speckled sunset played, kaleidoscopic rainbow shade. Shimmering the moon winds blow, around each wish tied picture show That flickers in a shaded room, a ghostly glow that cuts through gloom Between the seashore and the skies, a place where mystic magic flies Like nightingales of nether dreams, who sew the air with singing seams That wander whisper winding waves, in search of haunting echoed caves That bring back every wondrous song, to paint them there where they belong On echoed walls of stars and shade, before their final moments fade Into a deep oblivion, where moon or sun have never shone. Drowsy drained the depths of dawn, with such relief at being born Into a world where light and shade are happy with the lace they made That hangs across the newborn air, confetti scattered everywhere As tired clouds cough out their rain, and breathe more easily again Rainbows creep back upon their glow, another moving picture show Releasing colors every time, eternally a poet’s rhyme, Until somewhere between the lines, a certain paragraph defines Those treasured rituals of shade, from which each night and day is made… My Church In the church are whispers high, so sweet that they defy belief They wave their branches to the sky, bared warnings to the Autumn thief And down below in cloistered shade, the hymns of evening bare their souls Regretfully the echoes fade, as down the aisles their darkness rolls, And rainbow glass turned deepest grey, touches the heart of evensong While twilight sacrifices day, two endings that just don’t belong, Soft bird song peels away the eve, and every single painted call So beautiful I can’t believe the curtained silence slowly fall. Through the windows heaven high, an emerald essence on the air And though we were taught not to cry, soft silver teardrops everywhere Sift metronome like to the ground, within their quiet tiptoed dance, A peaceful time touched tick tock sound, that gives so much a second chance, While wandering in spectral shade, so many living pieces make A jigsaw that will never fade, a segment of creation’s lake, So many sighs of breathless green, and many more of perfect peace The church is a forever scene, a form of heavenly release. Around the church there are no walls, it’s organ is the stream’s sweet song And birdsong echoes from it’s walls, angelic wings that still belong To heaven in it’s many forms, for churches can take many shapes Those havens from life’s many storms, those corners where the soul escapes And where life’s poetry is composed, between the arbors of the dawn So many Prayers lay unexposed, as if they’re waiting to be born Into the church that I attend, the one that lives inside of me The church I always recommend, the one that I will always be… The Poetry of Life I feel the tiredness of my years, those quiet times when breath appears in melting mosaic imagery, upon the mirrors of a sea that only calls so many names, through pious sunlit tortured flames that scrape themselves away from light, then wander off into a night of promises and empty eyes, the kind that used to hold surprise when church songs played in moonlit rain, afraid to wander back again through open doors and empty hearts, until the rhythm of night departs, like shadow paintings on a wall, the kind that dance, but never call. I know the mysticism of time, so much gone by within my rhyme so much still here, so much to come, yet even time stands still for some, for hours are bolsters for a head to dream of life and death instead of dreaming silently away the hours of each poem of day, life’s poetry holds certain charm, it holds you up from fault or harm, then brings you back to Earth again, to laugh your joys, or feel your pain, I write to breathe, I breathe to live, for words hold many things to give to tortured souls and hearts that grieve, to countless spirits that believe. I seek the beauty that seeks me, a Celtic song, a sleeping sea, a moonlit road that points the way to everything life needs to say, a baby’s laugh, a robin’s call, so much to touch me after all, the souls I meet upon the road, the friends who wish to share my load to lift me up, to share a joke, when shoulders bow beneath the yoke but most of all a heart to share, to walk with me to who knows where to hold me close when it gets dark, to raise me up just like a lark to lay by me as evenings dim, so much of life is like a hymn... Keith Robson, 66, is a poet living on the Northeast coast of England. These poems are among the entries for the Society of Classical Poets’ 2012 Poetry Competition.