You can get there by candlelight by Jane Røken

You can get there by candlelight

I wanted to return to that place,
the sly little hideout in the golden nook
of Dead Man’s Cove, where Saracen pirates
would come to parley with soul agents
from foreign lands (well now, me hearties,
shall we trust yon snaggletoothed Cazique?)
— and then off they’d go, hell for leather,
leaving behind only their bloodied
readymoney: the smell of fresh-tarred rope
and baked bananas.

I wanted to return to those spaces
yet to be conquered, the Afghan helium fields
out there, their feral glow feeding on ghosts
of brigands, hawkers, gamblers everywhere;
and to watch ribbons of dream vapours rise,
a sultry steam of consciousness from the deep
dark bog down there. Zanzibar, Ashkbaatar
a romantic rainforest ditty, a reflection
of the shadow of a whispered rumour —
who’s in cahoots with whom?

Cast the dice, roll the bones.
How many miles to Babylon?
Which way to Casablanca?


Jane Røken lives in Denmark, on the interface between hedgerows and barley fields. She is fond of old tractors, garden sheds, scarecrows and other stuff that will ripen into something else. Her writings can be seen in many very different places, most recently Antiphon, Jellyfish Whispers, Lowestoft Chronicle, Snakeskin, and The Stare’s Nest.

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