Glow Worm


Cup in hand I take my tea at midnight
down a darkening track
lush chestnut oak and elm hang heavy
wheat field hushed, summer breeze between the husks halted.
Silence is a darkness too familiar.

Breath of cattle huddled by the fence
shadows sighing from their lazy sleep
disturbed by another passing shadow
shadowed by the lack of any future.
All lovelust gone our life expires.

No use in clutching wreckage of despair
I walk away – you drink too much
lift your glass, dismiss the issue
swallow truth.
There is no future us together.

Thick darkness wraps its cloth around the hearing
clink of glass on bottle mottled deadened to
relief of non-existence
lost in stars beyond defined horizons.

A star lies fallen at my feet
couched in the summer sunburnt fern.
Lured by its glow I lean down
to the widening circles of its shimmer-halo
wondering at the aureoles of light
blues and greens and phosphor-burning white.
I empty my cup, slip the creature in
it wriggles it illuminates the emptiness within,
the stains of tannin tracing fear across the porcelain
then dims.

Caged in my cup, your light goes out.


The male glow-worm gives out less light than the female;  but he can fly, whereas she cannot and depends on her bright glow to attract him.  They still glow down our lane each summer, however ephemeral their star-like lights are.