First Encounters

Drawn to my merry, dancing flame

I burn your fingertips like searing wax

Before it turns into a subtle layer of protection.

I run my fingers all over you,

Find the scars, the bruises,

Seal your wounds, like a second skin

My love enfolds you.

Sometimes I see you scratch it off in anger,

Only to find yourself too raw to stand so exposed.

Sometimes I peel it off you, gently,

And cover your tenderness with my touch,

Skin to skin, I dim my burning light,

And silence for a while.


©jsmorgane (Feb 2015)

A Woman and a Boy in a Box: rehearsing ‘The Turn of the Screw’

Her look, a muted moan, brimful with self-mockery, doubt,
Searching above my brow, never meets my eyes.
The smell of fear obscured by some pastille perfume,
Pervading the very air I breathe.

Sharp eyebrows thundering,
Her anger tears the fabric of illusion;
Then – after a moment’s hesitation – it is sealed again,
Leaving searing scars somewhere deep.

I turn, I bow, I kneel, I freeze,
Let the storm blow over my bent head,
My scourged shoulders stinging with the echo of the pain
Hidden in her half-turned face.

She smoothes back her hair, controlled again – spent?
Takes her hat and coat, snuffs out the candle.
One step, two, she is out of the box, gone.
The only remains inside: her scent, and I – suffocating in the dark.

© jsmorgane

Ordeal of Fire

Strike a match and light the candle,
Gaze into the cheerful flame.
Find the blue, the darker part,
And the wick’s tip brightly gleaming.

See it widening, opening, splitting,
Parting like a sea of fire
To reveal what lies between
The candle flames.

Find the hidden path of tears,
Follow down the winding way,
Pass onwards through the fire…
…beyond all measured time…

Then stand your feet
Firm upon the ground,
And commit to memory
What you have heard and seen,
Striving to retain the ken of
Passing through the flame.

© jsmorgane (June 2010)