At the ending of this day

Sangbad reminded me I hadn’t written a villanelle in a long time. Probably because they’re difficult. I’m chuffed no end to have actually written one, so here it is.


We wander at the ending of this day,

The stony path that overlooks the sea,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay,


We stand so close, to watch the sunlight play.

Above the waves that beat against the scree,

We wander at the ending of this day.


When twilight drains all dayโ€™s bright hues away,

Tomorrowsโ€™ hopes fade, with the daylight flee,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay.


We toss white pebbles as the pious pray,

You ask for signs, I send a final plea,

We wander at the ending of this day.


The pebbles sink; you say you cannot stay,

The far horizon calls you to be free,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay.


Your fixed gaze says there is no other way,

Already you are gone, that I can see,

Sundered at the ending of this day,

Where grey gulls dip and skim across the bay.


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.

36 thoughts on “At the ending of this day”

      1. I know, or trying to find something a little different to the normal favourites. I’ve learnt more about poetry since blogging than I ever thought possible!

      1. Wow…cheers to both of ours second attempt…had tried another format Katauti…find it in my Recent Post if you want to what it is…

  1. You steal my heart with your heroics, Villanelles are not easy. What I love about this piece is how you gradually move from beauty to darkness. It’s as if you have given us beauty for the purpose of helping us bear the darkness that will come. You know, the painting you use reminds me so much of the cliffs of Moher I visited recently. Well done, dear Lady.

    1. Thank you, John. I’m pleased you like this. From a lovers’ stroll the final parting, all on a summer’s evening. And yes, the painting is like the cliffs of Moher, but I think these are French cliffs. Probably chalky and not nearly as dramatic ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Well done, Jane. This seems like a difficult form. I like how you moved the lover’s story along, and how the tone of the refrain changed.
    I don’t think I’ve ever written a villanelle. I might have to give it a try. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the result, but writing a villanelle is like putting together a geometrical puzzle. If you do give it a try, I’d suggest you pick a couple of words with a lot of rhymes before you start.

  3. They might be difficult, but they are absolutely beautiful when they work – and I think this one does. I suppose it’s a difficult balance to get repeated rhymes which don’t sound too infantile…

    1. or contrived. Rhymes that either aren’t proper rhymes or are just random words stuffed into place because they rhyme make a poem sound ridiculous. I’m pleased you think this one worked ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I’m pleased about that ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s a poem I’m rather proud of as I struggled with it all afternoon through an infernal din from an open air ‘concert’ of Afro-Cuban crap at the end of the street. I thought my brain would burst!

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