Haunted Moment by Zora Cross

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Secretly, unannounced, that moment comes 
Between the eerie pockets of lost thought,
Or whipt by doubt in some swift vortex caught, 
And I am listening to remembered drums,
Or gathering at some table sacred crumbs   
Of a forgotten feast laid long ago.
And there is music, and the rhythmic beat  
Or delicate bare silver-circled feet ....   
Hushed voices murmuring in the court below.  
The haunted moment holds me. I must go.       

Dawn like an avalanche of shining swords,   
Draws me again where the dark desert hordes 
Dapple the air, their turbans white as snow. 
I steel my lips to take some stinging blow
Or kiss. I know not which. I watch. I wait. 
Suddenly all is still save where on high 
The restive turquoise stallion of the sky
Paws at the morning's purple-tinctured gate.

Only a tendril from eternity       
The cord of Time snaps in my trembling fingers.   
No semblance of the creeping terror lingers.
The dim shapes fade. They vanish stealthily,
And, one by one departing, set me free.      
I hear a door close softly. Footsteps seem     
To echo down a tessellated hall    
And pass more lightly than pale fruit flowers fall.   

The music dies like reed-notes in a dream. 
The haunted moment has a mystic birth
Who shall say how? Distilled by memory  
Perchance from the soul's strange dark chemistry .... 
Seeds of black laughter swell . . . but not with mirth.

First published in The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 1946

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on March 16, 2014 9:21 AM.

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