A poem written at HMP Highpoint 2016, wherein I tried to imagine one of my habitual walks around the village in the evening. I dedicate it to Khan who liked it and said it reminded him of a passage in a Charles Dickens novel which he found in the library for me to read. The fact that he bothered to do that said much about the guy, and should he read this I would ask him to please make contact!


Dare we dwell upon the darkness?

Dawdling down some dim-lit street

Smelling the scented air, late evening

Of grass, cut in daytime heat

Pavements and paths, devoid of people

Save for that very last walk of dog

The silhouette of church and steeple

Eerie, through translucent fog

As moonlight plays upon the clouds

Mysterious! Behind each closed curtain

Imagination! Shaped by shrouds

Solitude! Now more uncertain

Undefended by those daytime crowds

Down a station road, no sign of trains

No sparks light up the countryside

No buses pass, no noise from cars

Near-silence casts its night-net wide

All shops are closed, awaiting day

Outside, alarm lights blinking fear

Perhaps, inside the houses, they may

Weep or wipe away a tear

Children, bedtime dread may feel

Anxiety abounds, or soon aroused

What seemed so solid, now seems unreal

Diurnal beings safely housed

Night owls, unseen, their sounds reveal

The occasional fleeting female figure

Walking fast as ever she gracefully can

A furtive smile across her lips

Wary of any unknown man

Perhaps a passing, passive greeting

A muffled voice or wave of hand

Avoidance of all strange eyes meeting

When no woman wants to stop and stand

Or glancing, grimly to the ground

With shoes that signal scurrying

Their ever-quickening, scary sound

Irrational scampering, hurrying

Fearful noise of a far-off hound

That animal’s, glinting, demonic eyes

A moth-eaten, foraging, forlorn fox

Searching through the neighbours’ rubbish

And inside an abandoned, battered box

Reassurance from a friendly sight

As the village road begins to bend

Outside the house, the front door light

The journey almost at its end

Back to that tiny point in space

Beneath those ever-moving stars

The relief upon a loved-one’s face

As if returning from Moon or Mars

From darkness to a protecting place