Dorian Nightingale


I lock you in a box that I occasionally open
With that key I still pick up by the tip
Not the bow. 
                         A place where I stow 
Your hair clips and your tutus, pairs 
Of polka dotted socks
                  and shiny buckled shoes.
Your name on tags, a name
I’ve known since I was six. Patterns 
Saved of dresses
               that I was going to sew and stitch.


all seemed lost in a constant dusk, 
Perhaps it did dream. The tree fell. 
And beside that levelled birch, just behind 
Its protruding stump, one sickly bud 
From one ravelled shoot 
                                felt the lick of  
                                                      untrammelled sunbeam. 
Turned the yellow to green 
Becoming blooms of particular tinctures.  
             The melding unique and distinct in their nature.
The very paint of itself. 
Never known 
                       never seen since that light. 

 But I didn’t flower,
   		 for no petal would ever be my colour. 
No hint of my scent  
in the savour from my oil. 
	And the light, I thought,  	 	     
               might’ve given me my strength, 
Could’ve given me the time when it mattered   	 	 	 	 	 	       		
                                                               the most. 
But within that dusking dark,
                                              myself still emerged.
To stir the stem
	                   for other blossoms to come.


                    shilly-shallying, my mind
Confined on this shoreline of mine.
I’ve been here before, many times many more.
The brine in the air assaulting my senses, 
                                       lining my gut with that same salted feeling.
That same sort of feeling 
                                       revealing my shy endeavour.

A spoiling reminder whatever the weather
I’ll always foil the very first step, the very first
Dip in the saltwater wet. Fearful
I’ll slip on the undersea flint
				       and slit the tip of my toe				  
                                                                    or cut the side of my foot.
I know, I know…

Biding my time still afraid of that slice,
Never holding my nerve, 
                                             never turning the tide.

Dorian has always been fascinated by emotive language and the impact of textures and harmonies within words. His inspiration in writing stretches across a broad range of artistic influences from Caravaggio to Radiohead. After having several poems published, he is currently working towards his first collection of poems. He is a graduate from New Writing South, Brighton, England as well as being a Masters graduate from the LSE where he studied Politics and Psychology. When not writing he is mostly clearing up after his teenage children and then recovering by immersing himself in music and cursing the effects of old rugby injuries. 

He lives in Sussex, England with his family.

Flights, Issue Five, June 2022