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As Bright as Day by Benedict Patrick


A poem from Benedict Patrick's Yarnworld, which includes They Mostly Come Out at Night, and From the Shadow of the Owl Queen's Court.

In the dark

The parents hide Safe behind the red brick walls. The night wind whispers through the streets, Calling out their names.

To the shadows They scurry on Their tiny feet and hungry hands, Breathing in each other’s ears Their breath carries their greetings.

The clouds move, And the moon does pour Into and over the sleeping town. Their urban playground now revealed, They run screaming to the light.

And they whoop, They wail, They cry, Through the streets, Upon the buildings.

Teeth then chatter, Tongues then flap. Mouths grin, Singing anthems To the night.

In the houses Grown men cry Deeply into their feather pillows, As they cower from the singing Of those who own the night.

All good parents Hide from the eyes That peer into the bedroom windows. They can do nothing – it is night, Their children rule the streets.

Johnny Beanthumb

Is hunched beside The chimney on his parents’ roof. In his hands he knaws at something He found beside the mulberry bush.

It is night And the moon catches Only upon his eyes and teeth – Roving saucers, seeking prey, And a dribbling grin.

Jemima Shoe Is playing ‘catch’, Her daddy showed her how this morning. She wishes he would come outside, She’d show him how it’s really played.

The sky brightens, The fun ends – They skulk back to homes and beds. They do not want the sunlit streets, The adults can have them.

Peter Spoonfox Sits at the table, His mother fetching breakfast. He wonders why her hand shakes As she passes him his bowl.


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