For the dverse open night. A poem that is a clin-d’œil to WB Yeats, as if you wouldn’t have noticed.


The silent-most time of day, is this,

the hush before unholy street lights

burst into their orange flame

and draw the crowds outdoors like noisy moths.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

I’d wrap this moment in the hues of half-light

and sing it gentle songs of twilight

and keep it safe through darkest midnight,

unwrap it in the melting dawnlight,

when the soft hush falls again

into the dew-damp world.

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.

71 thoughts on “Dusk”

  1. You see the finest compliment I can pay you is that your Yeatsian poetry appeals to me rather than incenses me which it would if it was no good because then it would be a nasty assault on the finest and most sensitive of voices. But you do it well. Very well indeed.

  2. “I’d wrap this moment in the hues of half-light” I love this line. Your writing evokes such vivid imagery! I always love reading about treasuring moments and being 100% aware and present in the live moment.

  3. You’ve capture the moment, Jane, next to early morning’s ‘dew-damp world’, my favourite time of day. I love the imagery of the moths drawn to street lights and wrapping the moment in ‘ heavens’ embroidered cloths’,

  4. The crepuscular has an umberous luster to it, lit somehow from within, magnified by its dying, saturate of what remains. The motherly instinct to tend to this end-of-day babe, swaddle it out of the reach of the sterile streelights had a little of the lullabye of the Celtic Renaissance to it, the Yeatsian whisper. Amen and amen —

  5. I believe dusk and dawn are the first and final stanzas of a heavenly lullaby meant to wrap us in restful sleep…but modern man insists on disturbing the peace with “unholy” street lights 😉 Fabulous poem, Jane!

      1. Do you remember the Eric Morecambe sketch of him ‘playing’ Beethoven? All the same notes, just not in the same order? I suppose it’s like that. We try to get something good out of the jumble.

      2. I still find Eric and Ernie hilarious. Husband (from Essex) doesn’t and never did—parents didn’t approve. Do they have no sense of humour down South?

      3. I find it hard to understand how anyone, regardless of location, cannot find Eric Morecambe bone ticklingly funny. Him and Tommy Cooper are the litmus test.Nowt so queer as folk though eh?

  6. Stunning, Jane. You write with such grace and flair. Beautiful and visual, you paint in vibrant colors. I’m so glad to have read this poem 🙂

  7. I do like the twilight and pre-dawn hours. The light is so faint and colorful. I used to like to go out taking outdoor pictures, It is such a wonderful time of day. Thanks Jane

    1. My pleasure, Walter 🙂 Dawn is the quiet time when the night owls have gone to bed and the workers are only just waking. Evening is when the workers are taking it easy and the night owls are just getting ready to go out…

  8. It’s a lovely thing to do – to watch the hours of the day go by in one spot, observe the turning shades of colors and light…and the cycle goes on.

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