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The Vanishing Point

The sallow, sullen hills, slump beneath an ashen sky;

plump, grey globs of cold as gun-metal rain

fall on the tongue of oily tarmac

licked around an island of dim, grim bungalows.

A clammy gauze of fog insinuates itself

around scarecrow-trees, enveloping the huddled houses

Their blinkered windows staring blankly

over a lonely expanse of rancid marsh.


On leafless branches, sodden, quivering finch twitter nervously.

A flash of slick-black ravens rasp, and craw-craw

across the soft tufted meadow, hopping impatiently

from one bristling, brittle clump of brush

to another; confounded by the endless yawn,

the somnolent, barren, brown months to be endured

before the boasting season’s bounty

of greening, bursting buds.


A blaze of brittle sunlight

cleaves the leaden canopy of sky,

startles the lithesome ivory limbs

of a stand of naked birch.

Breaks into searing shards beyond the shore, it scatters

across the rippling waters of the harbor;

beckoning us to follow

their dazzling dance toward the infinite,

the vanishing point

of the horizon’s interminable silence.



The theme, motifs and poetic devices in this poem were heavily influenced by my admiration for the works of Dylan Thomas, specifically his poem, “The Fuse that Through the Green Fuse Drives the Flower”. In this work Thomas typically uses a variety of natural motifs, personification, and the juxtaposition of for example, the green fuse; this is the life force of the flower and the poet, but is also, ultimately his ‘destroyer’. Thus, we have the tension between what is in nature a positive and life giving force, the inevitable destiny of which is entropy and death, a metaphor which extends throughout the 10 stanzas of the piece.

In my poem I have also made extensive use of personification, natural imagery, and the theme of death within life. However, where Thomas chose to set his poem in the full verdant flush of spring, I have chosen the time of transition between late winter and early spring when all of nature, succumbed to entropy beneath the snow, is now revealed, the tension felt between what is dead and over, and what is anticipated by that which survives, but over which inevitably hangs the destiny of the vanishing point’s “interminable silence”.

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