Canto III: Virgil

After Dante’s Inferno, Canto III

At length I find thee, cowering in the dark
Thy vaunted skill subsumed by shudd’ring fear
A mortal soul, possessed of life’s own spark
That by its flick’ring brightness draws me near

‘Art shade or living man?’ thou criest to me
And I, approaching, speak thee of my fate
I take thy hand, and bring thee forth to see
The looming arch, the grim foreboding gate

Above it stands a warning, plain and clear
‘Abandon all hope, ye who enter here’

Copyright © 2018 by Finn McLellan.  All rights reserved.

Baker Street

Around the book my fingers close
The binding smooth as glass
And past the rain-smeared window pane
The cars go roaring past
Yet in my hands the pages turn
And soft a firelight glow
Fills up the room and ushers in
The days of long ago
A golden yesteryear, where still
The smog lies thick and low
And through the lamplit London streets
The rain-soaked hansoms go
And you and I, more modern ghosts
May still with spectral feet
Go walking down the well-worn way
That leads to Baker Street

Copyright © 2018 by Finn McLellan.  All rights reserved.


In the hollow of my hand, I hold eternity

Here, caught on the fault-lines of fresh skin
Dandelion-seed, breath-weight, bright as a new star
Shimmering, liquid light, spilling soundless
Through gaps between curled, curved fingers

Here, standing in pure paper-white oblivion
Feet firm on the shore of nothing-in-particular
I stand, sole singer of creation

Here, where the first strands of night boil out
From puddled pools of glowing, silvered light
Where spreading tendrils seep, call sea, sky, land
From blank eternal brightness
Where the stars, jewel-bright, one by one
Glitter into sparkling existence

And darkness, new and bright, black as a crow’s wing
Seeps in through eyes and nose and mouth and ears
Caresses skin, slips soft through pores,
Enshrouds, enwraps, enfolds
Kisses swirls and curlicues, curves, arcs
On red-sheathed bone, strong as a sunrise
Black-ink brushstrokes of a new beginning

I stand, and hold an infinite universe between my fingers
And sing the stars to life


Copyright © 2018 by Finn McLellan.  All rights reserved.