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Light Mountains

The light mountains

scale my ceiling at night.


Or they could be large,

milk-coloured mushrooms;

or shattered glass,

arranged in reflective rows;


or a corn-flour Newtonian liquid,

trapped in an arrhythmic beat;

or up-ended cones

drenched in ice cream;


or pale and strangely

melted, isosceles triangles;

or sugar-peaked meringues

stacked on a baker's shelf;


or a reef of bleached coral

under a chop of foamy waves;

or the eerie birth

of limestone stalagmites;


or a regatta of sailing boats,

becalmed on a silver sea;

or tens of tiny ghosts

in shining white winding sheets;


or a curtain of flame in a slow-burning,

sleepless, magnesium fire;

or a forest of snow-capped fir trees

in the moonlight.


Kaleidoscopically they hover and shift,

above the window to my dreams.


Hengistbury Head

The January storm threw a wave

over the Long Groyne, and swept us both

out to sea in a shock of ice cold.


So this is what it’s like to drown?

a cool voice whispered in my head,

as the water-log pulled from below.


And later I’ll be more surprised

by the calm curiosity of the thought,

than by the face of imminent death.

Mandy Schiffrin is half-British, half-Argentinian, and lives in Amstelveen, just south of Amsterdam, in the Netherlands.  She has recently had poetry accepted in the Black Nore Review and for an upcoming Yaffle Press anthology.

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