“Oh Candlelight” (poem)

Volume 123, No. 5May, 2023

Anthony Pellino


“Oh Candlelight,” by Anthony Pellino

As I sit wearily in this old chair, this dark, stormy night,

A candle burning next to me, the room’s only light.

With legs outstretched after another day of plight,

I ponder the world I know, staring through the candlelight.


Delving deeper into thoughts of what was and what still to be,

I gaze deeper into the flickering flame that seems to be beckoning me.

As my dismay bears down upon me, I try to resist,

But it dances and entrances, oh Candlelight, why do you persist?


The world is full of hate and despair, surely you can see,

The Trees, the Seas, the Bees and the Degrees are far more important than thee.

We hurt each other over color of skin,

never stopping to realize the color within.


We judge others’ preference as if it is ours to weigh.

We celebrate war, as if soldiers were simply made of clay.

We greedily consume, as if there is no other.

We lie, cheat and steal and conspire against each other.


I don’t mean to be insulting, please forgive the inflection,

But I refuse to be distracted by your seductive reflection.

You see, our world is sick and desperate and in need of attention,

But there’s nothing I can do, as I’m just a man, and did I mention,


That hunger is rampant, as children expire,

yet Statesmen smile and wave, as if impervious to this quagmire.

After all I say to you Candlelight, still you pester relentlessly,

But I must confess to you, in your reflection nothing do I see.


Admittedly you are shiny, so lovely, so warm and bright,

Yet I find you quite the annoyance on this dark stormy night.

…And with a Thunderclap I awaken, startled from my chair,

My heartbeat aflutter, I notice a faint glare.


On the table burns the Candle, it’s stature short and stout,

Its flame still burning brightly, dancing all about.

As my heartbeat slows, I wonder, surely, I was dreaming,

That Candle spoke to me, what could be the meaning?


As thunder booms in the distance, again I start to stare,

This time with purpose, with as much focus as I can bear.

My thoughts becoming clearer, my fog begins to lift,

Candlelight I see it! I see your shimmering gift!


I see Trees and Bees and shining Seas!

I see Peace and Love and falling Degrees!

I see food and shelter and smiling faces!

I see Children playing! Love between all Races!


I see Tolerance and Temperance and Statesmen with good graces!

I see Hope and Help in all the right places!

All the while I thought your enticement pervasive,

never realizing you were merely being persuasive!


Candlelight, I tell you, to be a disbeliever is not my decree,

For on this dark stormy night, in your reflection I saw Me!

Oh, Candlelight, could it truly be?


Anthony Pellino is Local 802’s concert representative