Artwork: Abandoned Church on the Lizard by Tanya Krzywinska
Sestina for Eleanor
All the rooms were dark,
The pictures turned their faces to the walls,
And every space throughout the house
Rang with the tolling of the night, the quiet knell
Of the past, the deep, the evermore, the lone
Sound of a dry, desiccated, ancient dream.
This was the dream:
That the wide and encroaching dark,
Shouldering aside the day, would not walk alone
Within the rooms, running its hand along the walls,
Tall, silent, straight, a sentinel,
Both guardian and invader of all within the house.
You entered a stark house,
Confused and scared, in a dream,
The only sound a solemn death’s knell,
Meaning and purpose lost in the dark.
You felt the breathing within the walls
And feared you were not alone.
You are not alone.
You are in and of the house,
As much alive as the floors, bricks, walls,
All of you together in the dream,
Together in the day, the afternoon, the dark,
Your path gladly narrowing, closing, a tunnel.
Through the aperture of your eye, the crenel
Of a solitary source of vision, a lone
Candle lights the highest dark.
You dance in the rooms of the house,
Within your own nightmare, your own dream,
Your name written in indigo hue on the walls.
You crane your neck to read the walls,
Your name, over and over, a knell
As vibrant and elusive as a dream
That you dream in concert, not alone.
You and the huge and beautiful house,
Together you will walk into the dark.
It is a dream, to live and die within these walls,
In the day and in the dark, repeating like a villanelle.
You go gentle, not alone, into your house.