The Keys Of Night

Usual drill. I had a strange idea for another ‘digital painting’ (my apologies to real painters out there, these things are more like designs, and I don’t know where they’re coming from), did it, then wrote a poem inspired by it. It’s a kind of collage of the roof forms and atmospheres of the Dovehill area of Glasgow where I’ve been spending time recently.

The Keys Of Night


Turn, turn the keys of night
unlock the ancient machinery
the untended vennels of the heart
rusted hinges screeching
indignant as nocturnal cats
open the doors as pealing bells
raise up the cowering dead
to look above: see there
the towering tollbooth’s debts
unleashed as white ledgers
fleeing like mad pigeons
pages flapping from barred windows
distant drunken singing
muted music spilling
from the infinitesimally-open
doors of pubs, focussed beams
of photons in single-file
doing the conger eel
a thrashing snake of many heads
opening mouths and closing eyes
reaching out as aching fingers
to where dappled streetlight
plays on rain-wet pavements
and October leaves
fall as pages of sheet music
turned over by a thousand
ghostly white gloved hands
connected to no one
who will disappear in the morning
disown the world invisibly
having changed the scenery
ready for one more play
in which all the clowns fall down for us
every comic stands up and dies
and nobody laughs about it.

This entry was posted in Architecture, Art, Poetry, Psychology. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to The Keys Of Night

  1. Great poem and I really like the painting; is this multi-media? I love the entwined imagery of light and sound in the pub door section; feel like I’m spinning above the night-time city with my senses drinking in the interconnected imagery. Not greatly keen on poetry but this is the kind of thing I definitely like. I have a couple of framed Frank Turner prints (Midnight at the Oasis and a daylight version) in my bedroom; the sort of thing that’s commercially available for sitting rooms across the land but I really enjoy them and your Glasgow roofscape seems similar in its cut-up angles and planes of colour.

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