Power Cut/Electric Marriage

Albert Mohler’s reflection on the recent power outage in Louisville, Kentucky reminded me of this (very sad) poem by Steve Turner.


When the lights
            went out
and the sounds
      died down
and the pictures
      stopped moving
there was nothing
left to say
      between Mr and Mrs.
Both forced within
the same dull radius
of candle flame
their silvered anniversary
barely showed a glint.
The stereogram had
now stopped its mad
There was no hot
coffee in which to
drown the need for
Television did not
feel bright enough
to play gooseberry
            that night.
Sheltering together
within the dull radius
                  of flame,
quartercentury lovers
wonder if it’s still
possible to be friends.
And on the night
electricity walked out
of their lives
there was nothing left to do
                        but sleep.

(Source: Steve Turner, Up To Date, pp. 28-29.)

I first read this Turner poem probably back in college days (early 1980’s). I found it incredibly sad then, and it has haunted me ever since.

Click here for more poems.
Click here for poems by Ray Fowler.


  1. Groobers says:

    Thanks Ray I was just looking around for information on links on websites when I read your entry about exchanging links, when you said you had not got the courage to ask for a link swap, I decided to take a look at your blog. I am so glad I did because I came across this very sad poem by Steve Turner, it is just excellent really sad but so true for some people. I am going to have a look at some of the other poems.
    Again Thanks

  2. Ray Fowler says:

    Groobers – Actually that was Dana’s comment about not having the guts to ask for a link swap (Blogging Basics), but I am glad you came over and visited anyways. I am glad you enjoyed the poem and hope you enjoy the others as well.

  3. Sarah says:

    Hi Ray,
    I actually wrote a prose response to this beautiful poem in year12. I was also touched by its sadness. So here’s the link to the short story I wrote. I hope you like it.


    Cheers, Sarah.

  4. Ray Fowler says:

    Sarah – Nice job with your story. It is very sad, but captures the sadness of Steve Turner’s poem well. Thanks for sharing.

  5. tanya says:

    dear steve turner… i too was haunted by this poem at high school (and ever since). got the thought this morning to ‘look it up’… and there it was! (20 years later!!!)

  6. tanya says:

    sorry, meant ray not steve…

  7. Ray Fowler says:

    Tanya – That’s okay, I’m sure Steve would appreciate your comment too! I wonder how many other people were affected by this poem the same way? I still think it is one of the saddest things I have ever read.

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