End and beginning

For the dverse prompt, a poem including the word, shade.

Night_by_Edward_Burne-Jones_(1870)

When the fiery sun slips into the west,

and darkness creeps across the shining sky,

I watch the shades grow among the grasses,

where the hare sits trembling and crickets sing.

Is this the anguish of the last day’s end,

when we hold our breath in the bone cage chest,

and the owl in silence glides where swallows

swooped in the sunlight without a care?

Will the stars appear in the darkling depths

and fill the night with a diamond sea,

or is this the rising tide of darkness,

that laps the black strand till the end of time?

Listen to the voice of the vixen calling,

the rustle of leaves in the poplar trees,

not the end but another beginning,

the cycle catches its moonlit tail,

the wild world is watching as the darkness gathers

and night walks the fields in her mantle of stars.

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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.

31 thoughts on “End and beginning”

  1. Absolutely stunning! I am sooooo glad you posted for this prompt. I love the illustration you’ve chosen and everything about this poem.
    My favorite image? “the cycle catches its moonlit tail,” Smiling I am at that one.
    Beautifully writ!!!

  2. I think this is a new favorite of mine by you. Stunning imagery in this. I especially like: “I watch the shades grow among the grasses, where the hare sits trembling and crickets sing.”

  3. This is so wonderful Jane. It’s like a memorial to the night. I hear the vixen’s call, (the fox of course), and see night walking the fields in her mantle of stars. Takes me back to the country life, thanks Jane

    1. Thanks Walter πŸ™‚ I love the night time in the countryside with all the life that we can’t see, only hear if we’re lucky, and I like to think it’s the only time when it’s possible to imagine a little of what it must be like for wild animals and the early people whose memories we must have inside us.

  4. I wonder how many times I have said ‘this is one of your best’ but … that’s true and this is true, this is DEFINITELY one of your absolute most beautiful ravishing gorgeous poems. I had to read it and re-read it three times, each time I felt my mouth grow thirsty it evoked this hunger in the words you used, you are truly, truly, truly, an incredible writer, both in prose AND in poetry, and your ability is FAR more than you could ever credit yourself, the emotions YOU create in the reader, well they just – bring me to my knees. This is utterly GORGEOUS and I for one would love to have this framed to read each day. What a magnificient piece of writing Jane. I am so lucky to know you. You are just amazing.

    1. I’m so pleased you like this poem. It isn’t one I sweated over, one that took just a few minutes to write, adjusting the words a bit to fit the metre, but I love it when that happens. It’s the beat that makes it work.

    1. I imagine that early people (and we must be like them deep down) would have been afraid at each nightfall that they would never see the next day dawn. It must have been daily terror. Night and death are associated in our minds.

  5. I love these sections:

    “when we hold our breath in the bone cage chest,

    and the owl in silence glides where swallows”

    “Will the stars appear in the darkling depths

    and fill the night with a diamond sea,

    or is this the rising tide of darkness,

    that laps the black strand till the end of time?

    Listen to the voice of the vixen calling,

    the rustle of leaves in the poplar trees,

    not the end but another beginning”

      1. Don’t you just love that…especially when you catch a glimpse of those night time lurkers…where did they hide during the day? Were they there just a couple of feet away when you were pegging the washing out?

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