Monday, July 10, 2017

"In the Shadow" by John C. Mannone

In the Shadow
John C. Mannone

Once I read a horror story
about shadowpeople—
two dimensional entities
that would ghost us.

I can hardly imagine living
as a flat-lander having no idea
about the third dimension,
let alone stalk anyone. 

If I were that 2D-personage,
I imagine I’d be a projection
of God, well, a god, anyway.

And whenever the sun shone
low on the horizon, I’d grow
in stature, my gray complexion
running over 3D streets

in shadowland. I’d be pressed
to believe I have purpose, perhaps
to give shade to my brother.

When the sun climbed high
to its zenith, I’d be reduced
to a mere blot—sometimes
I must diminish so that

the one in whom’s shadow I live
could shine light on the world
around me.

Poet’s Notes: Coming out of the May’s Chattanooga Writers’ Guild meeting, long shadows of a couple of my writer friends were cast along with mine in an eerie pre-twilight sun. I was reminded of the 1884 novella called Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions by Edwin Abbott Abbott. The same logic can be used for us three-dimensional humans, i.e. though it is impossible for us to perceive the fourth dimension, we would be able to deduce it’s existence by observing the dynamics of its projection, its shadow, on our world.  The horror story I mention in the opening line is actually a story that I wrote, “Shadowmonsters” published in MicroHorror Magazine (November 2009)—sadly, that venue seems to be defunct.  

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