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Shadow and Light: The Transitory

Summer, 2004

Michael Shepler

Blue Lanterns

There is a whispering as they gather.
Rising out of blue levels in their dark clothes.
Stepping, austerely from behind sleeps' curtain;
as the dreamer goes deeper, dives deeper,
and the night is water.

Voices of evening, voices of night.
Their sound bends the flame
of the flickering candle;
fluttering pennant in the sea-riding room,
that quickens and ebbs
like lightning on water.

There is a droning; as if one voice were speaking.
Each face hangs weightless
in a blur of drowning.
Hand over hand, you must climb the blue ladder.
Friends, ghosts, your father, your mother.
There is a whispering as they gather.
And the night is water.

Drifting through streets of a sunken city.
Hand over hand you must climb the blue ladder.
In a room in your mind someone is singing.
The voice and the song seem somehow familiar.
Follow the music past windows, broken windows.

Rising upward through sleeps' deep canyons.
Rising past windows, in each a blue lantern.
Forgetting and floating, up toward the surface.
And a voice is whispering, "Blue lanterns. Blue lanterns."