Only the night


Only the night lights the lamps of the stars,

Only the sea catches them when they fall,

Rocks them with driftwood and wave-broken spars.


Shining the same on both beauty and scars,

The night fills with splendour our bottles and jars,

Only the night lights the lamps of the stars.


The blustering wind blows the ripples and mars

The spangles of sea stars, a silvery scrawl,

Rocks them with driftwood and wave-broken spars.


Day casts our dreams where there are no lodestars

Though our hearts yearn to catch and polish them all.

Only the night lights the lamps of the stars,

And rocks them with driftwood and wave-broken spars.


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.

27 thoughts on “Only the night”

  1. This is so very imaginative!
    Each line brings me the surf’s gentle roar as I stand at a lonely beach watching the horizon gradually disappear into the night, as seen – or unseen – in the picture.

    1. Thank you, Peter! I think the painting I had in the back of my mind was the Van Gogh starry night over the Rhone but I couldn’t find it on wiki commons. The reflection of stars in the water is lovely.

  2. Reblogged this on Waar mijn pen ligt, ben ik thuis and commented:
    Kijk naar het plaatje, lees de tekst of laat die voorlezen, en laat je wegdrijven naar de horizon terwijl de avond valt…
    Just watch the image, read the words or have them read out loud, and drift away to your mind’s horizon at nightfall…

    1. It took me a while to pluck up the courage, but it’s worth it. I’d say a good plan is to collect enough rhymes before you start, otherwise you’ll have to cut the poem short, like I did here, because you’ve run out of sensible rhymes πŸ™‚

  3. Great. Lovely villanelle and I’m proud of myself that I know what that is. Do you get all those paintings off wikimedia commons? Do you use any photos off Google Images that don’t have a copyright in the author section, I was taught to search that out and use appropriately for blogging or writing news articles. Do you know Jane? I find conflicting viewpoints or knowledge on the net. Help?

    1. I only use wikimedia commons. If the image is in the public domain I put the link to the wiki page in the image just for reference. If it’s copyright free but needs an acknowledgement I put one in. I don’t know about google images. I feel safe using the wiki images so don’t look any further.

      1. I learned to use Google Images but there is so much confusion, so I did decide to try and use my own photos. However, very infrequently there is a photo that takes my breath away like the Cliffs of Moher and I checked it for copyright and none was seen but to be safe I deleted the post. Art takes your breath away and spanks you at the same time.

  4. Beautiful and very evocative. “Loneliness and the seashore” would be a fitting title to the poem…..just a little suggestion, of course. πŸ™‚

    1. That would be a good title, I agree. I tend not to look for a title, just use the first line of the poem. Lazy, I know. And this is the music to go with your suggestion

      1. I’m guilty of the same laziness with my poems.. πŸ™‚
        I will listen to this piece once I’m back from work, thank you for liking it.

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