What is shadow? Light blocked out leaves darkness,
Around edge greyly forms torn penumbra,
An area of interest to painters,
Where reality begins and ends.
The Shadow, greatest comic book hero,
Paved way for Marvel in nineteen thirties.
Shadows once did dance whilst they played Apache,
On latest, modern, electric guitars.
Black shadows roared on North Circular Road,
Playing chicken on way to Ace Cafe,
Silver Shadows pulled up outside dance halls,
Where debutantes arrived to meet the Queen.
Moon shadows totally block out sun,
Eclipses, always cold, dark and quiet.
Older people are sometimes said to be,
Shadows of their former selves, rarely are.
Shadowfax gallops by, Gandalf roaring.
Some folks shadow others work, just in case,
Labour Party shadows, locked deep away,
In Chinese walled cabinet, speak only
When shadowy Mandelson signs it off.
Danger often lurks in darkest places,
Nosferatu cast shadow ten feet tall,
Like Blairite witch hunters in leaders thrall.

Harry Rogers, In The Yellow Room, 12th May 2021.