Category Archives: Anguish of the night


Catherine Manchester


Happenstance and glory of a measured breath, the sun and moon
And distant scintillating light deranged and rearranged
To suite the insignificance of magnificence of a single scene and page.
Another sentence, a paragraph in which I find myself within a backlit room
To mark the hours the Doppler shadows all misfortune casts.
I have revelled in these signs, these periodic tedious monotonies,
Their very rising at once the thrall before the fall, monopolies
Of time and times again that only now appear to mask
Because when all that is has come to pass I happen to be standing here
A witness to creation’s synergies newly birthed. In the cold stare
Of noonish sunlight I sense with fragile accuracy the beneficial glare
Of all my peculiars, entities and particles that occupy the ear,
Delight the eye, and not so subtly remind me that I am,
And need not doubt the ground on which I stand.

…painting by Catherine Manchester…


“And Who Is He?”


“And Who Is He?”

And who is he if not an image in the hall
Alone with nothing but the furniture—
A stick or two—perhaps a glass of pure
Remorse for what’s past, and then the call
To what may just begin to reappear,
A possibility for some few hours in the sun?
The measure of a man is not his run
Of fortune nor a portion of a clear
And fruitful day among the multitudes,
But what he must achieve when face to face
With his own image and position placed
Before the judge of judges in the crude
Efficiency of gazing in the mirror all alone:
A man in crowds is not the man he is at home.

“What Softer Melodies”

“What Softer Melodies”

What softer melodies heard the other side
Of mirrors, doubled, perpetual in returns
To both the seer and the seen, burn
Memories in the afterglow. Waves obeying tides
Remove all witness out to sea, erasing steps, colliding,
Reverberating―as if we must be told we never learn
The first time―revisiting familiar images, taciturn
Reminders that apparently we, astride the shore abiding,
Encounter in the flood the restive need to keep on moving.
Inevitable, too, the image in the glass reflects the light
That cannot pause but in the subtle notion
Of someone suddenly defined by some tragic emotion
Spelled in comic ciphers only catalysts and radicals can read,
Effects remembered only vaguely in the anguish of the night.