This place . . . a courtyard, where once we gathered, exchanged news of the day, quarreled our differences, held words of love high above our heads, flagged down the goddess of mid-summer storms.
It is a place where one might leave a startling thought, like a bright red sweater draped over the back of a park bench.
In mid-September, we stole furtive glances at ourselves in glass storefronts, carried false images between our sagging breasts; we bought into it, that almost-believed belief in the myth they call Forever Young.
Now the last of the leaves cling to the branches, quiver in the late autumn breeze, spilling blood-red flecks ’cross puddles left by recent rain.
We are each of us compelled to return, if only to sit alone, waiting for the next solstice, a mere handful of days away. For that is the time when the earth tilts, causing days to be just that much longer, the murmured threats of dark souls, just that much shorter.
Every so often, someone comes by to report the passing of another. The wind whispers rumours of days that may or may not come, keeps us in our respective chairs, ordering up yet one more cup of blessed comfort.
This time . . . the promise of light so well worth the wait.
Copyright © 2007 by Carly Svamvour
(de) Light . . . I needed no inspiration for same. It comes easy to me; when I saw the prompt, I thought, "Well now, how many times have I been caught lollygagging somewhere, transfixed with the way the light is coming through the trees, or the way the birds chatter about it first thing every the morning." Inviting me to write about light is like telling the neighbourhood loonie to go stand on the corner and talk to herself. There I was with a bona fide excuse for talking about the light. Yes, (de) lighted, indeed. Thanks to the folks at Cezanne's Carrot for the opportunity and for having me here!
Carly Svamvour, whose story "This Place, This Time, This Light" received honorable mention in our Winter Solstice 2007 "Return of the Light" contest, was around six when she began publishing on the backs of the yellow forms her father brought home from the office. Although no one had a clue what all those squiggles meant, her parents knew she was destined to be a writer. At twelve, she won third prize in the Grade 8 poetry contest, with a piece about her budgie. Her first publication as an adult was in Poetry Toronto, in the early eighties. Since then her work has appeared in many publications throughout Canada, the US, and the UK, as well as many online zines. Carly and Jeff Svamvour co-publish Wild City Times (since 1996), a magazine themed on life in the big city. It appears side-by-side with Wild City Writers' Workshop Online.