the candle

 

 

I’ve just rediscovered these two drafts, dating back to January 1991 – I still can’t decide which draft I prefer!

 

                                                         THE CANDLE (Version II)

 

A patterned globe

of wax emits

a subtle fragrance.

 

The flames shaft

laps the glowing air

waiting to break

 

this happy equilibrium.

Is this the flame

that purifies

 

whilst commentators whine

 

of surgical strikes.

Open the door, create

a minor turbulence –

 

the flame now licks

the candles side –

the meltdown of the globe

 

began precisely

with the strike

of that first match.

 

Today the bombs

rain down; a patterned globe

emits the stench

 

of burning flesh.

 Malcolm Evison

THE CANDLE (VERSION I)

 

Waiting to break

this happy equilibrium

the flames shaft

 

laps the glowing air.

Today the bombs

fall on Baghdad –

 

I watch the candle burn.

A patterned globe

of wax emits

 

a subtle fragrance –

no flesh is burning

here in my room.

 

Is this the flame

that purifies –

surgically pure?

 

An opening of the door –

a minor turbulence,

the flame now licks

 

the candles side.

The meltdown of the globe

begins so casually.

 Malcolm Evison

January 1991

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