Ink Pantry’s Dr Zhivago Poetry Competition 2020 Highly Commended: Untitled by Rachel Cohen

The world was covered in the gloom
Of swirling snow.
A candle glowed in the room,
A candle glowed.
Like summer insects swarm to flame
In buzzing clouds,
The snowflakes at windowpanes
Would thickly crowd.
The blizzard painted icy plumes
In frozen rows.
A candle glowed in the room,
A candle glowed.
And on the ceiling, now dim
The light was tossing
The shadows of hands and limbs –
In fateful crosses.
The cloth would slide, the bed would creak,
Light shoes fall down.
The candle’s waxy tears streaked
Her cast-off gown.
The winter scattered its white bloom
On high and low.
A candle glowed in the room,
A candle glowed.
Temptation readied its hot sting
-The candle burning –
And crossed above its angel wings
Aflame with yearning.
All February fell the gloom
Of swirling snow.
And then the candle lit the room,
The candle glowed

Inky judge Andrew D Williams writes: A poem apparently inspired by Boris Pasternak’s “A Winter’s Night”, and likewise focused on a candle glowing in the February night as two lovers surrender to their passions. Yuri and Lara find something between them that neither has found in their unhappy marriages – yet the cold indifference of the world will snuff out that candle all too soon.

Rachel Cohen practices law in Canada, and says that writing is an inoffensive hobby.  

Andrew D Williams writes psychological thrillers with a streak of dark humour. His stories question the nature of reality and those beliefs we hold most dear – who we are, what we think is true, whether we can trust our own minds – and combine elements of science fiction with philosophical questions. When he isn’t writing, Andrew’s time is split between swearing at computers, the occasional run and serving as one of the cat’s human slaves. You can find more of Andrew’s work here on Ink Pantry.

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