While the adverts glare out from the window
Of the now closed t.v. rental shop, glowing in that eerie blue
Two clouds are rent asunder and, in big top glory,
Streaks a ruddy spotlight. Lucifer falls, luminescent, cometary,
And grasps the trapeze, goes swinging down.
Son of the Dawn, he flies in true contempt
Past the Mecca bingo hall, past the interactive games arcade,
Sneering at the thrill-a-minute video shop
Where the unangelic seek their earthbound pleasures.
He knows that on the upward rise to rope bound platforms held in space
The archangel Gabriel will pass, to the sound of trumpets from the pit below,
And they will cross, high in the marquee, ascending back to heaven.
And only one will fall.
Without a safety net.
© Martin Porter 1998
Angel Play was written as a workshop exercise held at the Jersey Arts Centre and led by Mario Petrucci in 1998. The task was to write a poem based on a circus artiste, in this case a flying trapeze artiste. I had been working on a sequence of poems based broadly on the topic “Angels” and the correspondence seemed obvious at the time. The poem was completed during the time given and, unusually, required minimal editing.