Dead star


Lost is that light year

when my star

glowed, swelled, exploded: –


Now walking across the metal bridge

morning’s grapefruit rays

Break the breathing night

To touch yellow leaves,

Rustle skirts on trees.

Brown beacons nose their seeds skyward

before the snow.


Lost is the night

That held my star

brightly for you.


2006, Opole, Poland

– o –

In autumn, brown beacons nose their seeds skyward

During my time in Poland I used to walk over an old metal bridge from the town part of Opole to the industrial area. It was there, at the large baby-food factory, that I taught English to lab technicians and administrators. In biting morning cold I would set off from my flat, 6.15am for the 7am lesson. The only consolation was those memorable sunrises. Someone for whom I had pined for some years began to fade from importance, like the nights to those grey and delicately painted early winter sunrises. My favourite line captures this metaphorical seasonal change in a real image that struck me. A tree caught my eye as I crossed this metal bridge, where all too often I skidded on the black ice. On this bare tree, “[b]rown beacons nose[d] their seeds skyward.”

A fellow EFL teacher who still lives in Opole, writes that the bridge has been replaced, “by a very fancy suspension-cable thingy.” Sunrises bring all manner of changes.

– o –

“Dead star,” is one of the poems that will feature in my forthcoming first volume, Shining in Brightness.