Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Writing * Poetry * Dark Fiction * Weird * Fantastic * Horror * Fantasy * Science Fiction * Literature

New poem

Night Lightning

I write this in the dark by lightning flashes,
squinting myopically, glasses off,
at half words half-seen half-guessed on the page.
Chain lightning, horizontal, frames the Peak
looming behind the glass; halogen lamps
burn, twin orange eyes on the skyline.
The rain retreats, reforms, rallies its strength,
descends in phalanxes charging downhill;
flash-powder detonations etch the crags
in drypoint silhouettes in monochrome,
echoing down long tunnels of the night.
When I first woke, I reached for the outstretched
hand of the mother of my unborn child,
foetal heartbeat flickering in her womb.
Now, groping above my head, my finger-ends
half-sleeping, find a pen, working by touch,
delving out words in darkness, sharp as moles,
unable to read what is on the page:
the blank pentameters, spontaneous
and elemental, awesome, reaming out
like automatic writing, worth a few
Lovecraftian nightmares for. The vigilant
security peephole’s Cyclops eye burns through
the door all night long, sleepless and ajar;
the streetlamps cast a shadow tracery
of drapes and window shades across the walls.
The stormfront passes: serenaded by
the long diminuendo of the rain
till dawning, I slip back to sleep content,
with outside, under firstlight, the first birds.