October Evening



October Evening


I am standing in the garden.

The chill of dusk gathers,

And Id the ghost slides by,

Its shadow captured briefly

Against the disappearing wall.


The air is cold and filtered

Like the last light that escapes the moon

And lingers in puffs and blows

Around the whispering, skeletal leaves,

And soft, silent earth.


Now Id the ghost formlessly appears

And ranges through the space 

That daylight left behind;

It whirls and plays and swings,

Delighting in absence.


It darts into wide plains of memory

And rustles in dim, empty corners,

Roaming and brushing through tired verdure;

And I strain to see or hear,

And shyly, Id the ghost retreats.


There is hardly any time left;

Just the lacunae

Between light and life and dark,

Ticking between damp blades of grass,

And stirrings made savage by blindness,


For it is night; the portents changed.

To see or hear is different, and to feel

While trapped within the claustrophobic gloam

Hurts and cuts and stabs at

The fragile layer of evening that protects.

And Id the ghost must leave; 

For now the moon is claiming back its light.

It is the hour when time changes and dictates

The mood and the direction;

The knell of dark is fallen all around.



Melanie Brown

Formerly the Composer-in-Residence with the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, Melanie Brown was a professor of Identity Politics at Trinity College Dublin before her current appointment as Senior Examiner at the Royal Irish Academy of Music. Her freelance journalistic work has been published in the Irish Times, the Sunday Times and Journal.ie, and she is part of the Terenure Writers Group, Dublin. She sings with the National Symphonic Chorus of Ireland, and the Christ Church Cathedral Community Choir. Her hobbies include gardening and wine-making (from the produce of her efforts as a gardener).



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