To the Island

I wanted you and I to return together to the island,
I didn’t realise you had a very different agenda,
so I went to the island alone and found my own solitude,
and also the darkness, a darkness I had not understood.
I had thought the darkness was your light,
you had always lit the night for me.
I was so deceived.

Between the rising dawn and the departing sun
I understood too little,
but between the grey dusk and the daylight rising
I saw too much

I saw the deeper gloom beyond the ebony,
Tenebrous and sombre, heavy as a cloak,
The trembling waves of indigo turning black
Upon a sable sea.

I watched from the stark sheer headland.
not sleeping, huddled against the rocks
as the cold reached out and the moon faded
and nothing was left but a thin, nebulous line
between sea and horizon.

Your words came to me out of the impenetrable night,
hard and unyielding as the stone at my feet,
in the press of those deep and sombre hours I knew
that you would not return.

The next morning as I waited for the boat
there was surprise, and hearty farewells on the quayside,
few had seen my arrival or known of my return.
“And how is he?” one asked in jovial tones.
“Better than could be expected.” I muttered,
feeling the shadows enter my soul.

I stepped onto the boat as lightly as I could
and stood at the prow watching everything recede


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