This box will only work at midnight,

on a clear night,

any date in August.


The nights are shorter but the earth is hotter

dense in the core.

Shooting stars make a promised whoosh

across dark blue skies.


Put it in the middle of the garden,

when there is a fresh westerly,

when the water is drained from the estuary,


and, at this low tide time, stars glint in the watery mud,

reflections from the sky.

Wait till the bees have made their way back

to honey groves and the ants

have crawled back under paving slabs to doze.


When the coast is clear, approach the box

and wind up the handle slowly, at first, and then quickly,

as the light fragments engage.


With the electricity from tiny sparks,

the people in the box will start to dance.

Look through the tube, on the side,

in the middle, and see two worlds collide.


It’s like nothing you’ve ever seen, a new kind of energy,

and capable of generating eccentricity.

And keep it to yourself, this little world of the elf.

It will be a treasure to you but never say its name out loud.


Keep it secret for me, make me proud.