Mirage II

Someone  opened  that door,
    about a foot I think it was,
    and inside and beyond
    were  the most incredible colours
    and shapes, all dazzling to the eye
    but I couldn't make out
    what  they were exactly, it was
    all jumbled and mixed-up
    but it looked gay and happy and
    lively, noisy too, if colours
    and shapes can be noisy
    and I put my  hand in,
    gingerly, and it felt
    warm  in there, with the
    sun touching  my fingers,
    and all the swirls were attracted
    to my  hand and  all the
    colour and motion  came towards
    me  to see what I was
    and I got  scared at all
    the lights and the colour and
    noise, ail that jumbled activity,
    all that happiness for it
    seemed  like a trick of sight,
    a mirage of the heart,
    and just as I was trying
    to decide whether or not to
    step through  and feel all
    that warm  air on my  face
    and skin all over and to
    be coloured by  all those
    lights and be held amid
    all that noise, someone
        (One  tick of time
        to  snatch my hand, then
    slammed  the  door.

    All was still and dark
    and silent this side of the door.
    I stood there still seeing
    that vision of confusion, all colour
    and noise  and swirling form
    and I felt afraid
    as the cold set in against my skin
    for I was  shivering,
    and all my eyes  could see was black,
    a black press on  my breath as

I pushed the wood,  solid,   
hoping it would open  
but it held,
and I didn't know the means
to make  it yield, and darkness, growing,
pressed against my back,
and in my  hand I held no shield
(as the vision faded from my mind) no knife
to shave the forming ice,
no axe to wield against the wood
this side of the door.
22 March J996
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