After the late-night meeting

my head was pale and flashing
a tawdry halo a broken circuit
a worn out lighthouse
behind my eyes.

I went to a hollow tree
and sat myself within it.
In the slow drip of mulch
and closeness of fungus
a full moon overhead.

The ants came inexorably
shiny-black shivering over
my skin. When I clamped
my mouth they lanced
my ears. Clambered in.

Tiny mouths chewing
like an orchestra of saws
they ate the nil-light
and came out glowing.
Pouring from my mouth

in an illuminated stream
crackling legs growing distant.
A million bright footprints
teeming from my head:
an empty mulch, a hollow tree.

Beech Tree, Carr Wood

6 thoughts on “After the late-night meeting

  1. Brian Taylor says:

    Phew. Another vivid poem. Birght footprints, so spirit ants perhaps?

    Yesterday, as it happens, we found a dead dragonfly, who on closer inspection, had an ant (that seemed to have perforated one of the dragonfly’s large eyes) attached to its face. Not sure what had happened. But am remined that an ant once flew into one of my eyes, and stung, in its death throes. Luckily I didn’t die :). And as in the poem, that strange event turned out to be a disguised blessing.

    • lornasmithers says:

      This was something that ‘happened’ between waking and sleeping when I was having a sleepless night with aforementioned symptoms after a late-night meeting. Suddenly I found myself in a tree with ants eating the light out of my head. Most surreal and very vivid! I’ve felt much better since. And don’t think I’ve seen the last of those ants yet…

      Poor dragonfly 😦 Getting stung in the eye by an ant must have been horrible. It was bad enough when I got a fly in my eye and convinced myself it couldn’t really be under my eyelid then awoke with a crusty dead fly seeping out the next morning. I felt lucky not to suffer any ill effects. I can’t imagine what getting stung must have been like. Did you need much treatment?

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