First Movement 

The street lights from outside my window float fuzzy and indistinct; blobs that glow suspended from a mournful midnight. There are no stars, there is no moon there is only the flat, black, impenetrable dark of the night sky. It is a stark, blank canvas; remote and desperate, it is a heaven devoid of God. The sky feels like a suffocating blanket that has been folded several times over before being placed heavy and ominous upon my face.

My sadness confuses me, it is a melancholy borne from the vile mood swings that plague my life. I find the slightest of things will trigger an emotional outburst. Emotions that, as they rise and fly, fall and crash with mercurial velocity, all beyond my control. Sometimes I am like the song by Ian Curtis and I feel the loss of control frightening as I ride its fairground helter-skelter with white-knuckle fear, never knowing quite how far and how desperately cruel my responses will be.

I fling the clinging duvet away from me and rise naked into the lonely emptiness of my bedroom. The double bed lies vacant and loveless. Even in this self-pitying dark, I find I can see as I rummage through my chest-of-drawers. There are no sounds apart from the noise I make as I scrabble to find clothes to put on: a T-shirt emblazoned with a Rough Trade logo, a pair of blue jeans and finally a pair of fading moccasins. I leave my house and my sleeping family to their dreams as I walk the sodium-lit streets toward the fields

The roads and avenues are vacant and remind me of a post-apocalyptic world with me the sole survivor. This thought scares me as it triggers a powerful emotion. I find it both ironic and amusing as, after all, do I not profess to prefer my solitary existence? Do I not claim to find myself with nose pressed against the glass, an outsider observing my fellow inmates? Yet here I am conceptualising on living alone in this world whilst feeling the chill grip of isolation penetrate my soul. The grey pavement flows into the grey road and I pass slowly on. Beyond the streets, rise’s the ominous shadows of the woods.

I walk now with footfall falling heavy on the compliant meadow, the grass bending beneath my heel as the nights mistress gazes silent and solemn upon the confusion of daisies that bow before her presence. The hush of stars hangs fresh as flowers gathered like librarians in the deepest void unaware and uncaring of human concerns that grind the long days into the tedium of tea cups. A single bat flies in circles grazing the moon with its stark silhouette. An owl, forever wise and worldly, hoots a chilling note as a shivering vole declares itself with a dull slap that leaves a series of ripples to blemish the pond. 

Second Movement 

Facing down the chasing lovers

Racing with the grazing wind

Neptune gazing from pale waters

Venus reflected in limpid green

The hollow hills stark silhouettes

Black beneath a blacker sky

Tidal grass now genuflects

The charcoal grey studded night

Glistening cornfields of swollen silver

Rustle with a hushing breath

Cool fronds trace cathedral heaven

Wilful stars beg finite release

Metal cold the lake lies sleeping

Lapping softly with trembling lip

The horizon pierced by arrowed flight

The fearful night in Morpheus’ grip 

Fourth Movement

The tremulous trees part before me.  A whispering wind that rattles their leaves with the rustle of dawn. Shimmering street lights drop golden globes into muddy puddles. The woodlands fence suburbia with fleeting phobias as the brash light from a single newsagent’s window attracts the spinning wheels of the moth-like paperboys and girls. They flit fearless and noiselessly in and out of the shop in a silent scurry of activity. The shop vendors creased face matches the folds of the periodicals he sells.

An early bus passes like the Mary Celeste, empty of humans and devoid of luxury. It clings to the road with its searchlight headlights that illuminate the tarmac in tragic sunken blacks and greys. A hirsute woman, dressed in a large Macintosh that flaps around her voluminous mass, as if it were discovering a new, unknown continent, trips into view. The cold comfort of a new day breaks the bleak back of the barren black night. Tomorrow is today is a new life begun again.

Photo courtesy of the Smithsonian Institute: A Galactic Spectacle: A pair of colliding galaxies about 62 million light years from Earth.



Russell C.J Duffy is a writer and blogger. Known for his Amatory Absurd stories of life in a fictional Wessex village - 'The Village Tales of Fekenham Swarberry.' He dislikes easy labeling almost as much as he does serious intent. 'There is nothing more spurious than serious intent.' When not sleeping he is writing. His 'The Wilful Walks of Russell CJ Duffy" where he writes about his journey's around the county of his birth proved very popular and can be found on his blog site. As an Essex man, Russell has heard all the jokes but finds nothing funnier than his own pretensions....

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