The Dark Land

by Midnight Moon
Wild Poetry Forum
Second Place, September 2021
Judged by Donna Emerson

Behind closed and shuttered gates
lies the dark land,
soft magnolia-scented landscape
full of crying beings

Vaporous, with 17 tears in the fabric
separating it from the world of lightness,
the world of cars, happy people,
lovers whose lives are sweet

But those few rips
let through a light so strong
it hypnotizes you with knowledge
of the world of joy, so far above our car-world

Light beams piercing down, making shadows
of the women in sweeping dark veils
naked and crying, holding up something with flowers
stepping past ogre-men crouching on the black sidewalk

And laughing when the womens’ rhinestone beads
catch prismatic rainbow light
sparking blue, fire.
Red, joy. Yellow, laughter, dancing through the night.

The poem’s title offers many associations for the reader, from the Tolkien to recent films to the Black Forest, so that a rich texture provides background and understory.. Within this, intelligent word choice and pacing create the moody scene. Throughout, a consistent lyrical voice leads us to satisfying images and the power of light, uncovering unexpected beauty, joy and dance. --Donna Emerson