To the House of Light
“In my beginning is my end.” T S Eliot, Four Quartets
“The sun rose. Bars of yellow and green fell on the shore.” Virginia Woolf, The Waves
You looked for light’s play on water,
freshness & flowers,
joy in the wing of gull or butterfly,
for open spaces under luminosity.
Your eyes grew wide.
You listened for laughter,
lovers wrapped in rest,
footfall of dancing on grass,
or the chirr of crickets
on swathes of chalk-white downs
late in a summer’s dusk.
Your ears were rapt.
Yet you tasted loss,
the starkest sorrow--
ashes in your mouth:
felt all lightness curl away like smoke;
even of a room of your own;
You knew cloud-stacks pressing on the sea.
Your tongue spoke plays on salted words.
Your pen wrote glory,
grief & greyness,
although you sought, still, that elusive lighthouse--
fixed point in crashing waves,
beacon under crushing darkness.
So, at the end, your ears were tuned
to the muted rush of waves
on sharper shingle,
in a place where you began.
Yearning for serenity,
you chose a bright & restless sea.
A published novelist between 1984 and 1996 in North America, the UK, Netherlands and Sweden (pen-name Elizabeth Gibson), Lizzie Ballagher now writes poetry rather than fiction. Her work has been featured in a variety of publications, including South-East Walker Magazine, Far East, Nitrogen House, The Ekphrastic Review, Nine Muses, and Poetry Space.
The Ekphrastic Review
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