in the ruins

playing about the candle-lit ruins
golden shimmer dancing in her hair
like the ghost of the long-dead sun
the echo of joy that should be there

small feet treading a delicate dance
through the sagging wisdom of stones
small heart beating with gossamer hopes
delicate laughter amid old bones

candles grow quiet as she sits to think
flames are steady soldiers at rest
her mind without the historical weight
of the ruins her feet know the best

they watch her, these eyes of flame
stand guard over her innocent ways
encircle her in their protective light
enrobed in the warmth of long-spent days

she is free to conjure grand visions
to walk the silver path of fairies’ tales
quietly now, she draws pictures of them
the ones whose lands cannot fail

unicorn bears her away from the stones
stained with blood in hidden places
they run through her mind to ancient oak groves
where are secreted in-between spaces

she can stay here in the safety of friends
live without tears, without longing
dream without the fear of the dark and
the whispers that sometimes follow her thronging

her mind at rest, little feet grow quiet
the candles nod over head
flickering light plays with ghosts of stone
gently hushing the wails of the dead

(February 17, 2004: written for Aleysha in Martin’s story, Playing at Darkness)

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4 thoughts on “in the ruins

  1. martin says:

    o wow! aleysha is going to LOVE this!!!!
    i was thinking about that tale just the other day – how i need to read it. how maybe after all this time i can read it as a reader not an author…….
    thankyou (from aly and me both!)

  2. ~lara says:

    Ahh, you and Aly are both very, very welcome. xox

    I think you should. That was a brilliant story. It’s amazing to read something when you’ve been away from it for a while. You’ll never be “just” a reader but there is some distance and in that distance you notice such wonderful things. Things you may not have intended.

    When I read this over, I just loved it. Something about the way it ends … **shiver**

    (There was another inspired by this story. Do you remember it? Something about stepping off cliffs or something. I’ve been trying to find it for a while now. I think I wrote in an email to you. Good organizing system! LOL.)

  3. merrill says:

    hmmmm… just had a search for your other piece…. i do vaguely remember but it’s not here at home so maybe my work email… i will have to have a trawl when i am next in the office (monday – yay!)

    and the ending of the story…. yes, it wasn’t planned at all, just .happened

  4. ~lara says:

    happy day off! i’ll be at work, feeling jealous. aly still intrigues me so much …

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