Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Night Watch (after Rembrandt)

A pocket of noise, frenzied conversing.
The echo of leather boots striking
Weathered stone is drowned out by the dull clattering
Of wooden pikes and the resounding
Boom of a drum, rotting and cracking.

Tall, proud men, all of them striding.
Their top hats of felt and oilcloth casting
Long shadows of doubt and obscuring
The hairlines (of a few old men) receding
Away to a pathetic tuft of pride, now fleeing.

Their captain is confident and firmly standing,
A starched white ruff eloquently adorning
His broad shoulders above the gesticulating
Hands and the sash of dark red satin proving
He is synonymous with power, imposing.

And a little girl, finely dressed and running,
Hair of long golden locks dangling
Over her silk yellow dress billowing
In the wind where beneath the dashing
Body is innocent, and still blossoming.

The not yet corrupted girl is rapidly hurrying.
Her feet take her to the lieutenant wielding
A beautifully forged spear sporting
Blue and white cloth ever so slightly resting
Above the tip; where blood will be falling.

by Jack Colley