We are never quite done
with the gloomy castle
it shadows all our domestic hours
from birth through the sapling years
It stands on a steep embankment
surrounded by a thick, dark forest
and from its battlements
unlucky souls observe in the distance
a glass-green ocean
a starry firmament.
Below, in the icy castle grounds,
huddle mournful souls
freezing and forgotten by all
but their closest kin—
a melancholy place
but nothing eternal to it.
The sun that rises elsewhere
will not penetrate this structure
hidden as it is, under northern mists,
wizard spells and optical illusions
of light and dark.
Though the city is your new mistress
you may encounter this castle
animated by an almost human moon,
the eerie chatter of small
flitting things—not exactly bats—
and damp torches burning tentatively
on, towering ramparts.
And you may encounter stone griffins
or other frozen phantasmagoria ,
and ponder why it is
that you always approach Her
in the dark
with frost stinging your skin
and the air painful to breathe.
And there’s never any wind
it’s always so still and ponderous—
like a painting:
an ocean of souls (anticipating fire)
ominous clouds (dull and lifeless)
the muddled heavens
so vast, so domed, so utterly silent.
Ian Irvine is an Australian-based poet/lyricist, fiction writer and non-fiction writer. His work has featured in many Australian and international publications, including Fire (UK) ‘Anthology of 20th Century and Contemporary Poets,’ (2008) which contained the work of poets from over 60 nations.His work has also appeared in a number of Australian national poetry anthologies, and he is the author of three books and co-editor of many more (including Scintillae 2012, an anthology of work by over 50 Victorian and international writers and poets). He currently teaches writing and literature at Bendigo TAFE and Victoria University (Melbourne) and lives with fellow writer Sue King-Smith and their children on a 5 acre block near Bendigo, Australia.
Links related to his work are as follows: