On the razor’s edge

For the dverse prompt, a poem in rhyming couplets, a sonnet of sorts.


Quiet falls so soft, it’s all there is to hear,

Except the dull remorseless beat of fear,

That intrudes upon the tractor’s busy hum,

Its harsh, relentless beat a warlike drum.


Listen, quiet fills the heart with peace,

The world stands still, a wingbeat of release

Of tension stored. The sky is rain-washed clean;

Look, beyond the stars, the night’s bright screen.


Our tears and weeping mingle with the rain,

There is sorrow in the silence, loss and pain,

Yet blackbirds weave their song from evening gold,

And love remains the greatest story told.


I would live always on the razor’s edge

With arms to sound the depths and dreams to fledge.

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.

43 thoughts on “On the razor’s edge”

  1. I liked /a wing-beat of release/ and fear could thump in your chest like a warlike drum. Such a brave lady and poet to dance on the razor’s edge, like playing hopscotch on the freeway.

      1. I’m used to being home, so that part hasn’t affected me too much. I’m SO glad we don’t live in the city, especially in a high rise. That would freak me out having to use elevators and such. My husband has gone out to stores, doctor (he had to get a root canal), and accountant for our taxes. I do panic some over that. We’re allowed to go out for walks, as long as we stay apart. Last night we met virtually with daughters and had dinner together. That was fun. How are you, my friend?

      2. I agree, a high rise must be difficult at the best of times, but at the moment, it must be hellish.
        We only ever have to go out to buy fresh food like fruit and bread. I don’t have an oven I can bake bread in, but the mini oven should be up to baking pizza bianca that will do instead of bread. But the supermarket is out of yeast…
        Apart from that, we’re isolated, don’t see a soul. There’s the telephone and messenger for keeping in touch with everyone, and skype though I hate skype. Our confinement has been extended to April 15 with the probablility of another two weeks extension. The virus won’t peak for another week ten days, and after that there’s another two weeks of confinement. Looks like we’re going to have to celebrate three birthdays virtually.

      3. I do, but you have to put it into perspective. A postponed wedding is not really so important compared with what some people are going through. Like death…

  2. There is quiet that is peaceful and quiet that is tense. These quiets are described by you with striking metaphors from life and nature. But this especially grabs my heart and mind:

    Yet blackbirds weave their song from evening gold,

    And love remains the greatest story told.

    The best kind of gold is woven by the blackbirds. And the narrative of love is still the best. This is apt and compelling hope in what you’ve crafted.

    1. Thank you. I’m trying not to worry too much. We have no contact with anyone except when shopping for food once a week. We can skip the supermarket this week but not the fresh stuff so husband will go early before there are queues to get onto the marketplace. They’ve set up a filter system, one person let through for every person who leaves. It was that or close the market altogether, and the local economy is basically market gardening.

  3. I really love the juxtaposition of soft and hard in this poem, Jane, and the beauty in the lines:
    ‘The world stands still, a wingbeat of release’.
    ‘There is sorrow in the silence, loss and pain,
    Yet blackbirds weave their song from evening gold’.
    And, of course, the final couplet.

  4. Hi Jane. Just love the third verse and I’m going to quote it to finish up a post I’m doing which starts with a poem of Damien’s. Hope this is ok with you (it may go up before I hear back) xoxo.

  5. Jane,
    There are many lines in this that resonate with me,
    “The world stands still, a wingbeat of release” – Change is here. Change like we have never seen before.
    “And love remains the greatest story told.” – May we keep our eyes on love as we navigate forward.
    Thank you for your words.

    1. Thanks Ali. There is so much love and devotion being shown, and so much recognition of it, I hope we will remember that and hang onto its importance when this is over and the recriminations start.

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