Not gentle

My rebellious poem for the NaPoWriMo prompt is a hommage to Dylan Thomas’s great protest song.


Go nowhere gentle,

not into dark that calls for oblivious sleep,

nor days that flicker past,

the turning pages of a diary no one will ever read.

Fight the dimming tide of failing sight,

the fading colours of a summer field,

carve yielding flesh and bone into monuments

not the contours of a garden chair.

Go with the tread of the conqueror,

not the vanquished who watch the sun rise and set

with a smile of satisfaction at its splendour,

the free show, a marvel to behold.

Rage against the tides that wash and wipe away,

the dawns that end the night of stars,

the placid dusk of peaceful lakes

when thought sinks into silence.

Race the sun and moon,

the tides, the falling leaves,

leave no stone unturned,

march with the requiem’s defiant swell,

trumpets and full-throated chorus roar,

dredge and sift with all the fury

of a finite life,

dragged ever closer to its close.

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.

22 thoughts on “Not gentle”

  1. I started the read peacefully enough but then by, “carve yielding flesh and bone,” I found myself screaming the words in my head. Subsequent readings were yelled all the way through. That’s good stuff.

    1. I think so. I don’t go for that ‘wrinkles show character in a face’ and ‘old faces show so much wisdom and peace’. It doesn’t wash with me. Time is a tyrant not a benefactor.

  2. Sometimes I think my life before retirement was, in fact, a rage against conditions, and that I would be satisfied to leave those behind. Even so, it never was my plan to go gentle into the night (good or bad), but rather to live in each moment I have.
    Besides, there always are new interests and new conditions/circumstances that demand attention and most definitely must not be ignored.

    1. You’re right. It’s the kiss of death to be a spectator, to fix an aim like retiring so that you can plant more dahlias then sit back and look at them. I’ll save that kind of stuff for when I really can’t do anything else.

    1. It’s a different approach to a similar sentiment. I’m glad you like it. I never want to be told that my wrinkles are beautiful, or that The sings of age are the signs of wisdom. I never want to be told that I am at the end of the line, because that”s what an aged face, slowed movement, aches and pains means.

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