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Stuart McFarlane



A man stood on a stage;

shouting, screaming, cajoling with his arms.

A movie of his own face, much, much larger,

blared behind him on a screen.

And a crowd, crazy on his words,

cried out 'Yes'! 'Yes'!

in rapturous unanimity.

Deep within the roaring crowd

one man whispered 'No.';

and this voice seemed much louder.


A darkness settled on the land.

The darkness increased so much

that the eye could perceive only

an inky blackness seeping

through all things.

And, in the darkness, almost invisible,

yet there, a flame flickered into life.

In the cold darkness the flame rose higher;

and, as the darkness deepened,

so this solitary light burned brighter.






Though hungry, and the evening cold,

we carried on, for we could see,

or thought we could,

sunlight on the mountains,

so very far away.

And we knew that where the sun shone

there was warmth, and that,

over the mountains,

in the valley beyond,

sunlight nurtured fruit;

that, in this bright valley,

there was life; were better days.


So, under a starless sky, we trudged on-

our footsteps the only sound-

echoing across the rolling fields.

And is this dark, this cold,

we grimly smiled;

our hearts cheered only

by the promise of future fruit.


Stuart McFarlane © 2024

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