On a Winter's Balcony by Alexander ShackleburyOn a winter’s balcony, my sight—
Through leafless trees, through
Crisp winds, through sackcloth night—
Beholds the distant hills, cloud-covered,
Aflame with city lights. The contrast
Of colors is patent: the hilltops filled
With sauntering yellowish-white;
The air above that, a slate
Of graphite; all else in black.

The night moves always. And sometimes
Within us. There’s a soft striving,
Like a slow dance in the dark,
Through the dark, towards a light.
Towards something unfathomable,
Though it feels almost tangible.

There’s no greater desire than desire.
I let what I see, for awhile, move
Within me, then turn away.

Author: Alexander Shacklebury

Bryan Damien Nichols was born in Houma, Louisiana, on August 30, 1978. He earned a B.A., summa cum laude, in Philosophy from Baylor University, and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. He has practiced law in both Houston and in the Rio Grande Valley. Bryan currently lives in Los Fresnos, Texas, with his loving wife, Michelle. In his poetry, Bryan writes through two different heteronyms: (1) Kjell Nykvist; and (2) Alexander Shacklebury. Generally speaking, Kjell provides an optimistic worldview, while Alexander provides a pessimistic worldview. Kjell and Alexander are not mere “extensions” of Mr. Nichols; instead, each heteronym is a unique character with his own personality, poetic style, and biography. Biographies of the heteronyms are available upon request.


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