Dancing Dust

Poems by Mollie Caird (1922-2000)

The song of the cave dwellers

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Sweet is the cave, and warm,
And warmly damp the floor;
Huddle we in the dimness,
Backs to the door,
The close roof safe above —
But there they leap and race,
The flickering on the wall
Our fingers trace!
So we dance our manacled dance,
And we see with our mole-blind eyes
The truths of the shadow things,
For we are wise.

Once there were some who madly dared the light
And came again half-crazed, their dazzled sight
Seared and stupid with the hideous sun;
We did but scoff at them
— but there was one
Strange we remember still
— yes, one there was
Worse than a fool, but we killed him because
He troubled us...

Raise a cry to the vaults,
This is our merriest game

Shout, hear the swift sound
Strike back the same!
Roll on the miry floor,
But watch, watch intent
Life's pictures there.  We see,
And are content.

Undated, c1941