Drag anchor

I did see a few shooting stars last night, but the experience wasn’t one I’m keen to repeat. Watching in silence heightens the other senses and the night sounds are eerie—rustlings and branches cracking. And the insects! Mosquitoes I don’t mind, don’t mind bats or moths either, but I HATE rhinoceros beetles. They are huge and seem to fly straight into any obstacle. And horseflies that land in utter silence on their cushioned pads and slice into flesh without you feeling a thing. I gave up after the second rhinoceros beetle crashed into me, and something began to hiss in the grass behind the well.


Sometimes there is no centre,

no lynchpin.

Nothing is certain; everything floats,

the spacewalk with no ropes.

Arms reach out and catch empty air;

today is anguish and tomorrow is dread.

Sun shrivels the berries on the branch,

the water in the stream,

the hopes that are just so many words.

In the night,

even the stars drag their anchors,


and wishes don’t come true.

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.

16 thoughts on “Drag anchor”

    1. Thank you! I hadn’t realised that was what I was doing there, but you’re right, it was an unconscious decision to give a concrete parallel to the emotional poem. Two different ways of looking at the same phenomenon. I’m glad you approve.

    1. There are always ‘things’ squirming in the closed sack, and I’m a world champion worrier. It’s unnerving being so close to the house and being just a little bit scared of the noises. Then those stars that are misbehaving…

  1. Oh misbehaving stars are definitely a worry, and I am right with you with not enjoying this kind of experience–even though it always sounds magical in theory. I DO mind mosquitoes though. I’m the person who gets bitten just walking out the door at night. 🙂

    1. I only ever mind mosquitoes when I’m trying to sleep. After discovering a horsefly feasting on my leg one evening I’ve become quite sanguine about the critters that only jab you. Three weeks later I still have the holes like a snake bite where it got me. Foul things.

      1. It was horrible! They have cushioned feet so you don’t feel them landing. When I swiped it away it left a smear of blood that bubbled up out of two holes after I wiped it up. They literally use their blade-like mandibles to slice into the flesh and the middle part of their mouth rasps up the blood and bits of flesh!!!!!

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