The Shadow Place

Michael Arthur’s poem renders the emotional space after love as a desolate wasteland littered with lost artefacts, a shadow place.

Maps of old familiar territory

Dead leaves blowing

Swirling in a dusty corner

A single songbird bursts forth melodically

I open that first edition you gave me

And read again

Entranced by the familiar story


Why did you leave me in the shadow place

The breeze flicked the pages backward

Like a slide projector 

Sending black and white images

Onto a blank white screen


I am reminded of my dream again

The black haired girl, 

The giant machine and the daisy

All outlined on oil flecked 

Emerald grass

And the children’s voices singing 

Long forgotten nursery rhymes

In my sleep

That feeling of more than despair


There are things like love

Then there is love

And the dear one brings them both to me

And tells gently

Of tomorrow 

And all the days of our lives