Standing in the moonlight, my shadow at my back,

With the seamed and spangled sky above,

Will I take the winding path that leads down to the shore,

Or face the shadows and the hollow, empty rooms,

The murmuring in the corners and the creases?

Will I step out into the darkness,

Hanging heavy with memories, clustered dense as stars?

Follow your heart, I hear you whisper, or is it just the leaves,

Trembling in the moonlight, the wind and the oily waves?

Follow the moonlight and the sea path and your shade leaving?

To the poplar leaves I say, listen to the ocean,

To the swell of tide and ebb, the waves black rock-breaking,

And you hear the pulse of my heart and its shattered pieces,

Chinking like pebbles in the backwash.

This pale path ends in chaos.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

18 thoughts on “Moonlight”

  1. So perfectly moody. This is the line that really grabbed me: “Hanging heavy with memories, clustered dense as stars?”

  2. this painting definitely provokes a surreal kind of melancholy darkness. splendid poem, so utterly evocative of facets of the heart one does not wish to feel, yet is drawn to…

    1. Munch creates an atmosphere that borders on the insane. There’s something not quite right about anything in this painting: the way the light is behind her and the shadow is as solid as she is, the expression on her face, the stark whiteness of it…

      1. “something not quite right about anything in this painting” – so true, and yet somehow he makes it still work as aesthetic whole. such was the artist he was.

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