Night-Wading

For the dverse prompt based on five of the ‘charms’ of Samuel Greenberg author of The Pale Impromptu.

We walk and wade through swamps of yellow dreams,
sluggish where the mud sucks, root-tangle entraps,
and wake to the grey life that sucks and entraps,
and the consumed moon that drips like molten wax
into the slow swell.

But some nights, we walk, wade through fields
of flowered scents, the palmed rose rising in blue air,
and we pluck long stalks of meadow grass, string pearls
from tissue made, wear them like the chain of Brísigamen
until the night pales.

We walk, wade into the eye of sun opening,
into the misty pearl sown with rose petals, the song
of red-gold memories and the chink of precious stones,
and perhaps, just this once,
the grey will lift.

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.

32 thoughts on “Night-Wading”

  1. I really like the format and structure of your poem with its repetitions and contrasts – that ending has such impact! Had to look up ” the chain of Brísigamen” and love how that touches on the ‘charm bracelet of Greenberg.

  2. I too love the alliteration and varied repetition of ‘We walk and wade’, Jane, which lends you poem structure, like a backbone through the stanzas. I also like the sucky, muddy language in the lines:
    ‘sluggish where the mud sucks, root-tangle entraps,
    and wake to the grey life that sucks and entraps’,
    such a contrast to the ‘flowered scents, the palmed rose rising in blue air’.
    I also love the references to Norse mythology.

  3. It’s all lovely but:
    ‘But some nights, we walk, wade through fields
    of flowered scents, the palmed rose rising in blue air,
    and we pluck long stalks of meadow grass, string pearls
    from tissue made, wear them like the chain of Brísigamen
    until the night pales.’
    leaves me speechless; I’m almost there.
    Well done!

  4. I love these lines, Jane:

    “We walk, wade into the eye of sun opening,
    into the misty pearl sown with rose petals, the song
    of red-gold memories…”

    I feel like in its entirety it’s about how dreams are more exciting than real life or reality, which can definitely be true! The mundane of life can take a toll, and the night always provides an escapism either through dreams or even nightmares. Beautifully written and mystical.

    1. Thank you! Mystical is the effect I wanted rather than surreal which I’m not a big fan of. I wanted to say simply that dreams often reflect life and waking from them is no big thrill, but sometimes, a dream is so bright and glorious that we dare to hope that on waking, some of it might turn out to be real.

  5. Lovely hopeful piece Jane. The first stanza reminded me (for some reason) of a scene in Melancholia by Lars Von Trier where the protagonist – as a bride – is struggling to walk entrapped through a forest of black ropes. Yet by the second stanza we have hope ‘palmed rose rising in blue air’ – is a wonderful sound/visual image – I can picture the morning coming on all golden and damp.

  6. This is incredibly potent! I especially love; “we pluck long stalks of meadow grass, string pearls from tissue made, wear them like the chain of Brísigamen until the night pales.”💝

  7. The use of repetition allows dreams to flow seamlessly from one to another. I prefer to wade through fields but, sometimes one has to go through swamps. I like the hope in the last verse of the grey lifting.

  8. These phrases do seem perfect for dreams–the not-quite-senseness of both. Even if I don’t remember the details of a dream, its atmosphere can color my day. Your words capture that. (K)

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