Nights of no moon

One of the poems I wrote for the Ekphrastic challenge and forgot to send it. The painting is by Cristobal Rojas.

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Nights of no moon


Nights of no moon,

it’s easy to hear the voices.

When the wind winds rags of dying sun

among black branches,

we hear the hiss of flames.


We share the fear of darkness,

wear the same chains

of upbringing and blindness.

Our eyes pits of obscurity,

desires crass mediocrity,

hands full of futilities

grasping for more.


We look for salvation

in hypotheses,

in the flight of angels.


Nights of no moon,

an owl passes on silent wings,

feathered in forest fronds,

all-seeing—eyes deep and dark

as the night

when there is no moon.


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.

24 thoughts on “Nights of no moon”

  1. Everyone deserved the luxury of experiencing the Dark Sky – and so few do now
    Standing in dark trends to humble, give perspective about just how important and clever you are.
    Obviously you have felt the night for such insight
    Love the “pits” line and the “chains”
    Great movement of thought, pacing. The ending, solid: unsettling and thought provoking – like the night itself

    1. Thank you! The night means lots of different things. When you’re safe in a modern environment it means silence and a rare view of beauty. I imagine for pre-industrial people it was also full of fear, thieves, murderers,strange cries and sounds, and divine retribution.

  2. I really liked how multi-layered that poem is. I could see different interpretations such as living in ancient times, everyone having similar problems while dealing with it, or blind faith to name a few.

    1. Thank you. The Catholic Church had very precise ideas about every aspect of life, death and whatever happened next. It played a lot on fears and superstitions, and turned some of them into horror stories.

      1. You’re welcome. I can see how that could play into people’s psyche even though I wasn’t raised Catholic. Horror stories would be an interesting way to put it as one attaches it to fears both real and imaginary.

  3. It seems our society is one of “never enough,” as we strive for more and wonder why we can’t climb any higher, never considering that less can be more and that happiness can be found in simple things..
    Sorry, Jane. Your words took me there.

    1. It’s how I see it too, Ken. It’s what happens to everyone and everything else that gets trampled on the way that bothers me more and more. There’s always an excuse for exploitative behaviour. You can usually find one in holy scriptures if you know where to look.

    1. We wear lots of sets of blinkers, and often they’re a comfort. If we believe that by following all the rules that will make those nightmares not applicable, we can despise the rest who are only getting their just deserts after all.

      1. It’s handouts if it goes to Others, but for us, we earned it. We have a sad story and deserve sympathy and help, they are lazy and stupid whiners.

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