Six steeple towers, cold as steel, drab daggers in the sky!
Their hallowed halls no longer call when breezes wander by –
for, filled with dread to wake the dead, they've ceased to sough or sigh.
Coiled candle sticks! Their twisted wicks no longer 'lume the cracks
with dying flame in smoky swirl mid pendant pearls of wax,
since deference to innocence dissolved in molten tracks.
Above! The dismal ditch of dusk reveals a velvet streak,
through which the winter’s wicked winds will sometimes weave and sneak,
and faraway a cable sways, a bridge clings hushed and bleak.
Thin shadows shift, like silver shafts, across the cruel moraine
reflecting white a wisp of light in ebon beads of bane
which casts a crooked smile across a faceless window pane.
Wan neon lights glow through the nights, through darkness sleek as slate,
while lanterns (hovered, high above, in lurid swinging gait),
haunt ballrooms, bars and dark bazaars, though no one's there to fete.
The souls who come with jagged tongue won't sing a silent psalm,
nor paint pale lips with languid quips to pierce the deathly calm,
nor pray for mercy, grace deferred, nor beg lethean balm,
nor yet redress the emptiness that shifting shades embalm –
they've seen, you see, life’s brevity, and face it with aplomb.
Terry O’Leary defines himself as "A physicist lacking gravity...".