There are nights

Going back to Jilly’s Jim Harrison quotes for inspiration. This one is

“The moon is to blame.  I am innocent”  


There are nights when there is only the moon,

No stars, no shadow-light, no scented jasmine,

And the sound of stolid breathing fills the silence.

There are nights when there is nothing more

Than the cold pallor of the moon

And the tracery, black filigree of the elms

That scratch and claw the soft velvet of the sky.

And on those nights of hush, when you are curled in sleep,

The anguish of the day all washed away,

I clench white barn owl fingers to stop the screams,

And leap into the dark, bat-whispering and soft

As a mare’s nose, and skim the hedges, then the tree tops,

Until the dawn’s grey light steals my wings.

Do you wonder that I look with cold disdain

at your pink dishevelledness

and turn for passion to the arms of the night?

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.

10 thoughts on “There are nights”

  1. Firstly, Jane, I resonate with this poem, but also, I was so caught up in the images it poses! The elms that scratch and claw at the sky sets the tone firmly in place but I think the line that most captures me for it sheer freshness is “white barn owl fingers” – wow! Glad you have gone back to Harrison; it suits you so well!

      1. Ah! That was the method to my madness, my dear Jane! Pulling lines completely out of context just to confound our poet brains! Sometimes I go back and read the lines in the context and then just laugh at myself for my interpretation. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s