By Candlelight


The flame hovered silently, above its sooty wick

Throwing jagged shadows on the walls of mortared brick

And as my pen leaves marks of ink on an empty page

The dancing, yellow candle ghost performs like brilliant mage.


His round, yet tapered, bottom floats above a melted pool

Which overflows in dripping arms below the radiant jewel.

He quickly darts from left to right when sensing any breeze

But then returns to former self, as easy as you please.


His brightness is a constant as the tallow is consumed

He gnaws the taper shorter with no sense that he is doomed.

Dancing through the hours of scratchy music from my pen

Contently throwing glowing light to corners of my den.


The dripping arms of melted wax, which is a candle’s norm

Now stand around like fenceposts in a ring about his form.

Burning still quite brightly, as the pool beneath him spreads

He sees a low spot ‘tween the posts, a knowing sense of dread.


Just a trickle, at the first, but then a glistening flow

Escaping from the hungry flame as in a magic show.

Like honey turned to marble, it solidifies again

Beyond the reach of candle’s flame, as I set down my pen.


The flame became much thinner as it shrank to half its size

Then flickered twice and disappeared, smoke whispered its demise.

The darkened room was silent, written words could not be read

An eerie sort of sadness, when a candle’s flame goes dead.


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