Into the dark

For earthweal. I have gut feelings about the wild and I’m happy to leave them unanalysed. Most analysis of the mind sounds like over-think to me. What’s real is what we can see and touch. I’m with Saint Thomas on that one.

Into the dark

When first we feared the dark
we sought to light with fire
the shadows full of hostile eyes.

Those times are dead, and now
we are the dark, the hostile eyes,
the nature red in tooth and claw.

The night of stars and silver moon
shines in other eyes, a world
of quiet dark and feathered sleep,

furred feet that tread the mystic grass.
We have conquered wild and dark,
tipped the balance of our moonlit fields.

We reign supreme in this, our ashen world,
the only ones to walk the earth
in mortal fear of our own kind.


How do we


How do we wake when the day is dark

as midnight ink and sea rolls and roils

thick as smoke?


Why turn and rise with the habitual gestes

when the wind yells and the trees fall

and birds tossed like paper bags

steer their chaotic way through the gloom?


It is coming the great flood

fire or water

or scorpions with lions’ heads


galloping from the open hands of the great of this world

and their acolytes with the face of the man next door.

Slowly, the night

I’ve returned to the san san and am enjoying the way it links and repeats the same images. Here is a faintly (very faintly) creepy one for the NaPoWriMo prompt.


Slowly it creeps, furtive ink-seep of night,

sucks out the blue and bright gold from the sky—

I smell fungal breath of leaf mould and dead things.

Shadows with night fingers rustle dry leaves,

that once held the life-giving gold of the sun,

coaxing the purblind, the pallid, to walk

beneath the cold gaze of the glittering stars,

dead things that watch while night’s pale fungus grows.

The dark falls quickly

A pantoum for the dverse prompt. This one turned out rather ghostly.


The dark falls quickly at this time of year,

When winter clings beneath the leafless trees,

Where in the twilight flit like ghosts the deer,

And dead leaves rustle in the spring-sharp breeze.


When winter clings beneath the leafless trees,

I listen for the sound of cracking ice

And dead leaves’ rustle. In the spring-sharp breeze

I think I hear a sound, still imprecise—


I listen for the sound of cracking ice.

Though nothing stirs yet in the night-clear air,

I think I hear the sound still imprecise

Of laughter, our voices free of care.


Though nothing stirs yet in the night-clear air,

I feel your presence wrapping me in waves

Of laughter, our voices free of care.

A sea of grief rolls now, and fields of graves


I feel your presence, wrapping me in waves

Of twilight, where like ghosts they flit, the deer,

And grief, a sea rolls over fields of graves.

The dark falls quickly at this time of year.

99 word flash: Sky light


For months it was dark, the only sounds were the screaming of the wind and roaring of the ocean that used to be distant. Then the sky cleared and filled with a strange luminosity. Silhouettes appeared, stark angles and dead stumps against the light, holding out broken limbs still dripping. Water? Mud? Slime?

“It’s completely silent,” you said.

“No birds,” I replied softly. The broken limbs were empty and I recognised their gesture—imploring.

“And so dark.”

The sky had taken back the light, spread out its colours, safe and high, leaving us all that we deserved—the darkness.


Haiku challenge: Darkness & Deep

Who couldn’t write poetry to those two words? A trio of haiku for Ronovan’s weekly prompt.


Deep water rolls green

and cold among moonlight pearls—

darkness crowds the sky.


Deep the river runs,

carries broken things seaward,

into the darkness.


Darkness falls again,

winter cold and deep, sinking

like the waning moon.

Where will we go when the darkness falls?


Where will we go when the darkness falls

And from green depths the ocean’s voice calls?

Are there safe places in city sprawls?


We could follow the swallow so swift

And hope for a wind, black clouds to lift,

But flight, narrow-winged, is not our gift.


Air and ocean are bound into one,

All are equal beneath the bright sun,

We’re left with our hearts, when all is done.

Escaping the dark

A villanelle for the Secret Keeper’s writing prompt. The words this week are:


painting ©Feliks Paszkowski


Dark falls the night outside this hall,

The stars bestrew its unseen skies,

And fear grows teeth beyond the wall.


Across the moon, a silver pall

The eye can’t pierce, although it tries,

Dark falls the night outside this hall.


Upon the strand, tossed by the squall,

Our barque still floats, it won’t capsize,

But fear grows teeth beyond the wall.


I see the swell of waves that fall

On silver sand, our barque their prize,

Dark falls the night outside this hall.


If only thoughts were not in thrall

To bleak despair and hope’s demise,

But fear grows teeth beyond the wall.


Grey gulls drift, I hear their call,

And wait in hope, the sun will rise,

Though darkest night falls on this hall

And fear grows teeth beyond the wall.



The days are lengthening, they say,

the dark receding, a black tide,

leaving star spots glittering on the sand.

Cold grips and tears,

a rangy dog with a piece of carrion

stolen from a crow,

and beneath the trees,

dead leaves puddle and seep

into the mulchy earth.

In the sky is darkness still,

sunless was and sunless will,

no robins sing beneath the light,

terne as leaden unplumbed depths,

of this ever-hungry dark star yawning.