Labouring under a distant dream,
And all the while the sky is brown,
Frowning in weary autumnal rage.
The equinox is dawning
The days fall longer, and the nights are darker.
Only the thought of hope drags me screaming
Through to the empty dawn.

It is always at the beginning,
And then at the end, that you find it.
How desperate I am now for it
But the days grind on around me
Relentlessly uniform, and still
Nothing changes, a weak little
Candle with its wick all shrouded
By wax, all momentum is lax,
Oblivious, as we twirl into the winter
And all hope is stranded like a starving
Army, forgotten and unrelieved,
Defending a hopeless bastion.

Nothing changes, but my dreams
They fool me, and taunt me
But they also teach me to believe
They sustain me, hurt me
Like any lover worthy of the name.
And although each day they seem
Ever more distant, slipping out of
Sight beyond the yawning grave,
I stick my finger nails into them
And grasp them, tight,
Don’t leave me yet, don’t leave me,
Keep me through the night
And when we wake in morning
I’ll be one step closer even if
It takes me a million miles to catch
Up, I will catch you, and make you
Real, and you will be no more the
Phantom flicker, words on the page.
I will breathe life into you
And in the morning, you won’t fade.

Rose Staveley-Wadham