I See Phantoms

David Rowbotham

I see phantoms.
They are new towns in a long tomb,
They crowd the room,
Whether I dream or wake.
Their world is infinite,
They multiply,
Only the dead are sinister:
I see only because of them.
They are my blinding eyes:
Eyeless phantoms, sly moving shrouds,
Perpetual eyeless speechless things
And enemy slings I’m living through.
My daughters smile at me
As if in defence against attack,
And wave their tuckshop pens.
I, dreaming, awake, try to wave back.
I am withheld by the Promethean
Gift of fire that burnt and burned
Orange cloud black.