Mist creeps

For this evening’s dverse prompt, Kim has asked to write a poem with verbs as the dynamic. Here is a haibun, even if I’m not sure I’ve got it right…

Evening mist1

We stand high on the hill beneath the sky, watching the valley fall away into darkness. Night climbs from the darkling east, ravelling up the turquoise to seep into the path of the dying sun. Trees, hedgehog-spiked, hide the quiet life uncurling with the dusk, gathering their shadowy skirts swirling about with river mist rising.

We move closer, battered by the silence, and in the hush, the voices of night things pipe-skirl and call their hollow cries from beyond the world we daytime creatures know. Mist creeps, a pale ghost, from the unseen river, rampant, a prehistoric force. Stars point and flicker uncertainly in the vastness above and bats whistle whish after insects. We hurry, pebbles crunching beneath our feet, to make sure the house, squat and indomitable, still crouches on the shore of the milky lake, feet lapped by river breath, but holding firm to the land, the memory of sun on grass and rabbits white-scut racing through the dew.


Night voices whisper,

fox-throaty or owl yodel,

silent stars look down.


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.

38 thoughts on “Mist creeps”

  1. You’ve done a great job, as always, Jane, and flexed your verbs perfectly!
    I particularly like ‘Night climbs from the darkling east, ravelling up the turquoise to seep into the path of the dying sun” and the ‘hedgehog-spiked’ trees with their ‘shadowy skirts swirling’. But my favourite verb by far is ‘pipe-skirl’.
    Oh, I mustn’t forget the stunning haiku and the ‘fox-throaty or owl yodel’!

  2. For me the arrival of the night was an apt description as it shows the movement with restrain.. But I have to ask why sacrifice stare for look in Haibun..

    1. I’m not an unconditional fan of alliteration, and in this context, I prefer the sound of ‘look’. It’s also an allusion to something though I can’t remember what. Might be the title of a book, which probably means it’s from Shakespeare…

  3. “…even if I am not sure I’ve got it right…” Jane, stop! You are a very talented writer — this is, as are all the posts I’ve seen of yours, extremely well done. There is a lilt to this — the words are beautiful and set me in this scene. Be positive….as in “Here it is! A response to Kim’s prompt today to use verbs in describing a landscape.” Set your tone as a positive contribution….because your posts always are. I love your work!
    I have many favorite lines here….and most especially “and in the hush, the voices of night things pipe-skirl and call their hollow cries from beyond the world we daytime creatures know.”
    Well done!

    1. I sound really pathetic, don’t I? It isn’t fake though, I don’t have the can-do and the self-confidence that you need to be a successful writer. I know I can write, but not that I can write in a way that other people are drawn to. It doesn’t matter for some writers—they churn it out, pleased as punch, promote it to the skies, even if it’s a load of bollocks. You need business acumen and a big ego to make out in this line, and I haven’t got it. As long as you and the few poets/writers/readers who read my blog like what I produce, it makes me happy.

      1. EXACTLY to the end of what you’re saying here. That’s what I LOVE about dVerse. It is a group of people that weave in and out of our words and enjoy them for what they are — an expression of who we are from our minds and feelings right down through our pens to the pad (or fingers to the computer screen). You don’t sound pathetic, Jane…not at all. I just wanted to encourage you to put your writing out there for dVerse, on your blog, without an apology because it is always you. I’ve entered my poetry in a few places and have rarely had them accepted…not the big and truly reputable and famous journals etc…just some small venues. But mostly, I get the thank you no return and you know what? That’s okay. That’s why I rarely submit. For me, it’s the writing and reading in the mornings, when it’s quiet. It’s the mental stimulation. And it’s the friendships forged in this virtual pub that makes it all worthwhile. Even if I’ve not had much time, and what I’ve put out there isn’t what I’d consider one of my “best” — I just put it out there. Here I am today, folks! 🙂 And so nice to see you….tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. I just have fun with the words and it’s quite obvious to many that your writing, as I said before, is very good. So forget the business acumen…and occasionally churn one out (sometimes I’m surprised at what comes out of my pen!), and keep writing and enjoying. So GLAD to know you here at dVerse, Jane! 🙂 Have a wonderful Thursday!

      2. Dverse is a haven. There’s no competition, no criticism, just encouragement. I have had poems, stories, even novels published, but I still haven’t got that sense of accomplishment. Maybe if my ‘talent’ could be turned into hard cash I’d believe in it. Dverse is a different way of being appreciated, richer probably, and I’m very much enjoying being part of it 🙂 Have a great day too—it’s Wednesday here still.

  4. I too loved the lines that begin “and in the hush, the voices of night things…” A lot of atmosphere in this – at times spectral and at others, calm and peaceful. Nice contrasts and nice use of verbs. As usual, a most excellent post.

    1. Thank you 🙂 You’re right about the contrasting impressions. I love being out a night in the countryside, listening to the night things beginning their patrol, but the mist rising like that and gradually hiding the valley completely was quite an eerie sight.

      1. I too love the night things: the owls, bats, various insects, sometimes even the raccoons. And there is always the insomniac mockingbird going through its entire repertoire.

  5. I feel like I learn so much when I read everyone else’s poems. I had no idea how to make a verb dynamic, I grew up in the 70″s where we were encouraged to direct our own plays but no-one taught us grammar.. pipe-skirl…. how great is this? Fabulous. XX

    1. Same here. We leant virtually no grammar, but we did write poetry and stories from primary school age. I admit, I read several poems before I started mine. I’m glad you like it 🙂

  6. There is nothing left to say that I have not said before. Every word from your pen rocks me with emotion and imagery. Your poems always fill me with inspiration and the desire to create. Thank you.

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