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  • By Rowland Hughes

Candle Night


Featured in New Lyre Winter 2023


Dangerous to touch, yet tempting me to step into a world of memories. And in a darkened room, when my eyes accustom to its halo of light, It takes me places I know,


and places I don’t. The spinning wheel of my imagination gives me a landscape of imagined trees, a mystery of roses and the shadows of a vulnerable child. Though there is more than one child, as there is more than one childhood.


Age has given me a choice to push aside the dark interiors of my mind. There are moments trapped in the flame that exist to taunt me, black horizons painted on a nursery wall.


Yes, the candlelight has its own soul, not related to mine. And there are no destinations left in its flame, only a confusion of light and dark. But roses still grow secretly below the trees, buried underground, in a place only I can see.


Rowland Hughes is a Welsh writer and poet. He was born, and lived until his late teens, in the Rhondda Valley, from where he still draws most of his inspiration. He worked as a Master Decorator and studied trades in the construction industry. He later became a Local Authority Assistant Surveyor. Due to ill health, he retired in 1997. In 1998, he joined a Cardiff University Creative Writing Group. He loves to observe people, places and nature, writing in bustling cafés and the confines of his writing shed.

18 Comments


ajsedia
Dec 16, 2023

The subject almost begs to have a poem written about it, and what a fine one Hughes has given us. I would sum up the poem as "evocative" -- much like the elusive flickering of the candle-flame itself. The interplay of the "roses" (quite unexpected) and "shadows" images and their union in the final images presents a wonderful thesis-antithesis-synthesis structure unifying the work.

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mail
Dec 16, 2023
Replying to

Thank you Ajsedia.

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winestone.poet
Dec 16, 2023

I love this poem so much. It’s extremely profound and thought-provoking. I especially love these lines:

There are moments trapped in the flame

that exist to taunt me, black horizons painted on a nursery wall.


In the words of Stewart Burke, utterly brilliant!


- Shannon


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winestone.poet
Dec 16, 2023
Replying to

You’re very welcome, Rowland.

- Shannon

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stewart.burke
Dec 13, 2023

"Age has given me a choice to push aside the dark interiors of my mind." Brilliant. Utterly brilliant. I needed that, Rowland.

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mail
Dec 15, 2023
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Thank you Stewart.

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martinmccarthy1956
martinmccarthy1956
Dec 08, 2023

There are some wonderful lines in this poem, and I just love a wonderful line, such as "the candlelight has its own soul, not really related to mine." That one really stopped me in my tracks and made me think about it. Fine work, Rowland.

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mail
Dec 21, 2023
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Thank you Shannon.

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jm6783685
jm6783685
Dec 08, 2023

Another wonderful poem from one of my favourite poets! I always look forward to a fresh offering from our Welsh master. If ever there was a poet whose gift is almost purely instinctive it is Rowland. The rest of us have to struggle to get where he already reigns supreme.

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mail
Dec 08, 2023
Replying to

Thank you John.

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