Poem & Song: “Darkness Fell” by Nancy Christensen King & Alani Keiser

 

Darkness Fell (Poem by Nancy Christensen King)

“Darkness fell, not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night,
But as if the lamp had been put out in a dark room,”
Wrote Pliny the Younger
Across the Bay of Naples, a witness to the doom.

At the foot of Mount Vesuvius, Italian souls laid toil
Building on the mountainside to till a fertile soil,
Not ere expecting paradise
To break in violent boil.

But boil it did that fateful day
Spewing devastating fire and ash
On the bustling Roman town,
The wrath of Vulcan dehisced to take the people down.

Life ceased in an instant until all was cold and calm
Like insects trapped in amber, forever to embalm.
Beneath the muddy ash an ancient world was sealed
Photographed in stone, someday to be revealed.

As Madame Tussaud’s wax figures standing still and cold
Frozen on walls and in the street,
Life and love, art and song, pleasure, lust and greed—
Not unlike men through all of time who seek a life complete.

Like ancient souls, we too lay toil
And build on fertile soil,
Not imagining our paradise
Could break in violent boil.

Be not complacent or unready
Heed fissure in the stone,
Lest rising steam and firestorm brews
And leave us to bemoan, ”Darkness fell,

Not the dark of a moonless or cloudy night,
But as if the lamp had been put out in a dark room,”
We, as Pliny the Younger
Across our Bay of Naples, bore witness to the doom.

***

Poet and genealogist, Nancy Christensen King writes poetry about love, life, and hope. Her articles, stories and poems have appeared in print and on-line publications.

Poetically inspired songstress, Alani Keiser was born and raised in South Africa. She started her career as a poet but later married poetry with her passion for singing. She has been published and recorded multiple times and is the recipient of songwriting awards from the UK Songwriting Competition.

Sister spirits across the globe, Nancy and Alani have collaborated to bring poetry to life with music and together have produced three CD collections and are working on several new projects.

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