Saturday, April 23, 2016

Cluj Napoca by night

In the dark and cobbled streets 
I followed the liquid cats that flowed through the inky shadows 
sliding, gliding 
under the sleeping cars.

Faint noises   
leaked from the open windows
into the warm night air.
Syllables of speech butterflied above my head;  
moths of invisible meaning fluttered  to the place 
where conversations go to when they die. 

This city was not always so. 
The wooden doors still hold an echo of the ancient woods;
every contoured grain a signature of summers long since gone.

Trees still line the streets, lean from courtyard gardens with their elbows on the wall, peering with sightless eyes at where their neighbours used to be. 

Their sap still rises from the forest soil beneath the streets. 
The birds still sing.  
Crickets serenade the grass as if it were a meadow still.

Walking slowly, silently, alone, 
I let the ghosts of woodland whisper 
through the cobbled streets and castellated walls.

The crickets call; the summer nightwind tousles trees 
and in the darkness of the gardens lope the ghosts of wolves; 
a haunting howling drifting on the breeze. 

(c) A McNaught


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