From dusk to morning


Deer are barking

across the setting sun

a world apart


through the long grass

snake glides

climbs the fig tree biblically

taking the slender boughway

over the hedge top


in the path

yellow feathers strewn

midnight feast


oriole flutes an elegy

for lost kindred

in the gold of morning


small corpses


laid by the path

an offering to the night fox

are gone by morning



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.

25 thoughts on “From dusk to morning”

  1. Such lovely images of the hours between dusk and morning–the oriole fluting the elegy. I love the biblical snake, too, but I want to hear a bunch of barking deer!

    1. Thank you! I don’t know what the problem with the deer was, but they were barking from two different bits of woodland.
      The snake was incredible. I read they can climb trees but I’ve never seen one do it before. I climbed the tree trunk, slid along a branch and did what the squirrels so, going from tree to tree and across the top of the hedge.

      1. I just read something yesterday about “flying” snakes. Is that what it looked like? It sounds incredible. Though I’m not sure I’d want to be too close. . .

      2. It slithered up the trunk and out onto a high branch, then the front part reached out to a branch of the next tree and the rest followed. It wasn’t flying, more like bridging, a flying buttress ๐Ÿ™‚ I was imagining us in the hedge chopping the brambles out and what would happen if one dropped on our heads…

  2. When the cat and I had a more-or-less fenced-in yard, I let her out and it was her pleasure to present me with half-animals. She looked so satisfied.

    I’ve never heard a deer’s vocal sound. Whenever I’ve encountered a deer, we stare at each other then go one direction and another. I have heard a fox’s cry but only in a certain British mystery series I like to watch on television.

    The Biblical climbing of the snake sounds phenomenal. I’ve only seen snakes on the ground or on the water. And I was introduced to a snake once by a naturalist. I found the snake remarkable to touch.

    Well, sorry to go on. Your work is certainly evocative.

    1. Thank you. All this nature is new to me. I never paid much attention to it when I lived in the countryside as a child. Roe deer bark rather like dogs, but on a single note. It’s an alarm call but these were at it for ages, back and forth.
      The snake was incredible, and also a bit unsettling as we’re often in the hedges trying to free up some of the trees from the smothering brambles.
      I wish cats wouldn’t do that. The half-rodents Trixie has left just beyond the porch are still there. The whole corpses have all been cleaned up so I suppose they didn’t go to waste, but I really hate it when she kills babies and just dumps them.

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