Illuminating York Poetry: Festival

Posted on 17 January 2013 | Poem

We squander light

like children scoffing sweets.

Lights rule our lives:

headlights, taillights, traffic lights,

flashing green, red, amber,

blue for worry, silver for winter joy.

We assume shop windows

bright as money, flick

switches to banish  night.

But for a few festive days,

York has chosen to play a past

of candles and darkened stairs.

“So romantic,” we agree, returning

to our switches and glowing screens.

But on those screens, for some

that past has become present,

unchosen, a nightmare of storm,

of scrabbling for matches,

of looking skywards,

praying for a moon.

Still, that is New York

and far away. Our power

will never run out.

- Pauline Kirk