Perchance

For the dverse prompt.


After the death of sun
cold wind blowing
scattering broken boughs
and summer’s end

after the drop of dark
the slow seep of swollen shadows
between the trees
where silent birds roost

we pull sleep’s blanket
over our heads
hoping tomorrow
will be kinder.

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.

71 thoughts on “Perchance”

  1. Very dark imagery in the first two stanzas constituting the frost, and then the last stanza has that nice warmth. I really love how it ends on that positive and hopeful outlook. Another beautiful and brilliant poem. ❤

    1. Thanks Lucy. It’s funny that you see hope because the word is there. It shows you’re a more optimistic person than I am. When I use it it usually means that we can hope, because that’s all there is, no certitude. Sleep is like opium, a respite often.

      1. I once had a soul-crushing conversation with someone who could not understand your concept of hope because their certitude offered none. At the time, I didn’t understand what that ultimately meant, but it also meant I have what I do have now, and it puts me in a much better place than I thought I was losing.

      2. Do you mean that if you have certitudes you don’t need to hope? Who can ever be certain except those who put all their critical faculties in a box and close the lid?
        Hope for me has two meanings. Some use it as a synonym for belief, so when they say they hope in a better tomorrow, it means that’s what they believe will happen. I tend to use it to mean the obverse of despair. It’s there, as a faint possibility, because without it, we’d just not bother getting out of bed in the morning;
        Hope goes hand in hand with doubt, possibly springs from doubt. If tomorrow is uncertain, we can at least look at what we have now and find good in it or change it. Pulling the blanket over our heads is denying the present

      3. I agree with you.
        In my case, another offered the possibility of a positive outcome (however remote) while harboring a certainty of the (then) current circumstances. Not understanding this allowed me to have hope, which I expressed. When that hope was questioned I should have recognized the other’s certainty.
        To turn your last phrase around, pulling the blanket over my head was denying the future.

      4. You mean like someone telling you they have a cancer but hope for better days without telling you that the cancer is in fact terminal and the hope is just one of those things that people say without there being any basis for it? It’s a funny word.

  2. The repetition of ‘after’ is very suggestive, as are the final lines, but you have given more stanzas to the cold, dark and wintry silence than the kindness of tomorrow, Jane, and ‘sleep’s blanket’ hints at the urge to hibernate until it’s over. Good idea, especially with the pandemic still lurking.

  3. ‘slow seep of swollen shadows’ is a lovely foreshadowing of ‘sleep’s blanket’ The tone reminds me of Rilke’s Day in Autumn …’Whoever’s homeless now, will…fitfully wander, when the wild leaves loosen.’

  4. This resonates strongly! There is darkness blanketed around month of October as though the wind knows of inner conflict. I too hope that tomorrow is kinder to us. 💝

  5. Oh, yeah; we’re there, here. I’m there, JD., esp so in your 3rd stanza. Unfortunately (for me) I’m dealing with some chronic insomnia at present, so…

    Great stuff.

  6. That shadow of darkness is upon us in this season. Love that we described those shadows behind the trees. Hopefully tomorrow will be kinder.

  7. Jane, You got me with the first line, “the death of sun” — The sorrow seems inescapable. The blanket the escape, futile though the hope may be.

  8. I do so love to snuggle under the blankets when the cool weather comes. It’s getting out of them in the morning that is difficult.
    Beautifully described.

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