gogyohka for stormy dark

For Frank Tassone’s haikai challenge. a stormy sequence.


half the day is dark

for some the half-light too

when things are unclear

and mysteries slip

between light and shadow



the reverse of light swells

when birds settle with folded wings

and prowls the rustling grasses

on determined feet


feet pad silently

except for crackling of leaves in August drought

amid the gentle sighing of boughs

in the cooling air

cradling pigeons


pigeons fall silent

when dusk fades

from dying gold to feather-grey

hush among the leaves

still heavy with heat


heat rises

swells in waves of cloud

crackling with lightning

sparks of faulty connections

illuminating the underbelly of the storm


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.

23 thoughts on “gogyohka for stormy dark”

  1. That’s how it’s been here–and we had that weird yellow light, too.

    “and mysteries slip
    between light and shadow”. ❤️.

    And I wrote about secrets and mysteries today. 😀

    1. The weather is getting wearisome. Did you get any rain? We had a couple of hours of thunder and lightning but not a drop of rain.
      I was out yesterday (until 3am this morning!) so I have some catching up to do.

      1. We didn’t have rain yesterday–a day off. There’s a slight chance of thunderstorms today. Right now the humidity is 92%. It’s so icky. You were out till 3 AM?!!!

      2. It sounds silly but we bought a sink, an old ceramic sink from someone hundreds of miles away. The seller’s sister offered to offload it on a motorway service area on her way down to Portugal. We had to meet them where the Spanish motorway branches off from the Mediterranean one at midnight, pick up the sink and drive home. It was a two hour drive back and they were late.

      3. Motorway service areas are scary at night. Loads of sleeping trucks and truckers. It was surreal, when we left the motorway, driving on completely empty roads with Abba full belt and the windows open, like rowdy kids from forty years ago 🙂

  2. I love how you shine a light on the darkness with ‘shadow
    the reverse of light swells’ and then
    ‘Illuminating the underbelly of the storm’
    And those words links at endings and beginnings are so powerful, feeding of each other like bolts of lightening hitting its target and shooting back into the atmosphere. August is intense Jane.

    1. Thank you! It’s too hot, unnaturally hot and everything is suffering. The last week the temperatures have been between 37° and 41°C and it’s going to continue, don’t know for how long. The storm we had the other night was just sound and fury, not a drop of rain. The birds sound so weary.

      1. We had more than that last night 🙂 Stifling! And another storm, just lightning along the western horizon, no sound, no cloud. No rain either unfortunately…

  3. It’s now a few days later, and I hope you’ve had some rain. It continues to be preternaturally hot here, though there has been rain. It seems that everything in nature tries to settle in for the night of half-light and the “pranking” of a storm. It’s a beautifully sounding poem, but you need the rain.

    1. We had a proper storm with rain two evenings ago, but it has left no trace. The following day and nights were just as hot and sticky and the water seemed to evaporate, leaving not even a damp patch! Today is calm and cool though, almost autumnal in comparison.

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