[Image Author’s Own]
[Inspired by Etherwood’s “Cast Away”:]
Paper cranes are flying on the ceiling,
shadows stretching to the fan – a fallen
carousel – whirling on with the wingèd band.
As she tilts her head, surveys
it all through gaps between fingers –
slits in the fabric of her ink-stained hands –
soft rustle of feathers can be heard
carried on a breeze from distant lands.
As she smiles, the room spins in time
to instrument above. What was it she saw
earlier, on the roof? A dove, watching her,
white guardian in a soot-soiled town.
Night was her escape, here, on the floor,
fallen down to think, gazing
at the folded paper creatures breeding
overhead. If she couldn’t be creative,
might as well be dead. No: the flock
that hovered gave flight to thoughts,
desires, never to see light, cast away,
hidden and encapsulate in a patient art;
not of oils, nor acrylics, not of clay,
but from the ghostly skin of trees,
from their sacrifice, had she honed her craft.
[Copyright © N R Nolan 2016]