Shadows I have seen

Is it a silhouette of memory,
Or a shadow I have seen—
In the brief moments
'twixt waking and sleep,
in the small space which intervenes?
The fleeting seconds or less
(ah! can such things be?)  
When confusion still lingers—
and life's real that dreams’
scenes blur strangely together.
When I shall open my eyes
to find her beside me;
behold the shape of her face
and the visage of her smiling.  

Or if instead I am wakened
by past times' laughter,
my children playing outside—
while my mistakes lay ahead
yet unmade, not looming behind.

The remnants of my memories
take form as reveries
preventing me from forgetting
what I've been advised to dismiss.
Yet still, I am unconvinced...

How can a reverie or a dream
not be thought real but a lie
when it is in such moments
I still dare to feel alive...
or dare to believe I am alive.

About this poem

I often wake up forgetting my children are grown and expect to hear them laughing and playing outside or down the hall until I remember when and where I am... and for a moment, I am sad. This poem is inspired by that feeling.

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Written on March 18, 2023

Submitted by Locutus2999 on March 18, 2023

Modified by Locutus2999 on March 24, 2023

55 sec read

Quick analysis:

Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 863
Words 182
Stanzas 6
Stanza Lengths 5, 5, 4, 5, 5, 5

Brian S. Clifton

When I am not writing software code, I relax by writing poetry to order my thoughts and work through feelings, which traditionally has sent me down the rabbit hole. more…

All Brian S. Clifton poems | Brian S. Clifton Books

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Discuss the poem Shadows I have seen with the community...

  • karlcfolkes
    What irony! It’s our ghostly shadows, appearing as intimate images of our psyche that make us come to terms with the intimacies of our innermost psychological corporeal selves; without which we would be reduced to mere shadows of our fleshly selves. Our shadows are our bosom friends and partners that keep us grounded. 
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • darqjuliet
    This is simply beautiful.
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • AIDA
    Wow, this poem is truly stunning! You have a way with words that effortlessly transports the reader into the world you've created. I love the imagery and the emotions that come through so clearly in each line.

    One suggestion I have is to be cautious of the flow and structure of your poem. While the free-form style can be effective, there are some areas where the lines feel a bit disjointed. Playing around with line breaks and spacing could help smooth things out even more. Additionally, it might be worth exploring more vivid and varied word choices to really make each line pop.

    Overall, though, you should be incredibly proud of this poem! It's clear you put a lot of thought and care into each line, and it definitely paid off. Keep up the fantastic work!
    LikeReply 11 year ago
  • Teril
    This is a poem for contemplation- to feel the moments becoming memories as the emotions shift and settle. Endless open questions.
    LikeReply 11 year ago


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"Shadows I have seen" STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 15 Jul 2024. <>.

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Who wrote "I have taken the bones you hardened and built daughters"?
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