Two Eyes in the Dark


There’s a shy little creature in all of us.

Doesn’t come out much – likes to stay hidden.

It’s very loyal — takes a real kicking —

but it never lets go. It’s very determined.

It’s not good with numbers,  counts like a chicken,

and it really doesn’t care for details and data.

You’d think it was worthless — some say it is —

and yet there are times when you still let it in.

That spring among the hazels, scented with bluebells,

that night you wandered alone with the moon,

or that terrible time at the edge of the cliff

with that cold insistent voice saying “Go on, jump”.

That’s when we feel its gentle, tentative touch,

the whimper, or the mew or the murmur of its call.

It brings comfort, and solace — sometimes ecstacy —

this small abandoned creature that we call the soul.

© William Ayot


At the Walls of Troy


Cassandra is wailing in the foyer —

Despised and ignored, eyed by security —

Cursed by Apollo, never to be heard.

So the data mounts as the news comes in —

The numbers more shrill and the pictures more ugly.

Added together its just so much ‘info’…

If we’re quick we can still make another buck.

But beyond the car park the forest prepares.

The hooved and the clawed are leaving for high ground

As the carrion gather, and the water birds fly in.

The rich all say, “I’m not a bad person”,

The poor say nothing and bide their time.

The future lies with the supple not the strong.

Those who go to the edge could reshape a world.

For when change comes it will come quickly —

Like the Fall of Troy played over and over.

The waters are rising and choices are upon us.

This is the time of quickening and of soul.

© William Ayot


The Isle and its Noises


(From The Angel & The Nithing – Excerpt)


Shamed and diminished then, but not afraid.

No — even in the wildest squalls of night,

It was as if some presence spoke to me,

Warm and comforting, a holy quiet,

That, when my throat was constricted with tears,

When the world was shrieking in its madness,

Would rest the hand of silence on me. Calming,

Soothing and gentling me, like a grandmother

Who, with a cool dry touch, somehow understood,

Who wept without weeping, and held me dear —

So that I came to cherish all silences

And in them to hear the whispering of gods…

© William Ayot


Brittle Star


(From The Angel & The Nithing – Excerpt)


I came here first when I was tired and low.

Pushed at a creaking door that stood ajar.

It felt like there was nowhere else to go.

I stood there in the evening’s afterglow.

A thin wind cooled me, and an early star

Bade me welcome, seeing I was tired and low.

But my reflection, like a bone-white crow,

Hung in a fishpond, cursing me.  You are

A nobody — with nowhere left to go.

l should have called it, stopped it long ago;

Quit the chase for status in the grand bazaar.

Instead I came here, lonely, tired and low.

Exhausted by the endless quid pro quo

Of work and wanting, I had come so far

That there was really nowhere else to go.

And so in failing I found solace, though

I never sought this balm that, like a spa,

Watered my soul when I was tired and low.

I see now there was nowhere else to go.

© William Ayot

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