When the dark

For the dverse prompt.


When the dark is as hot and still as light,

and the moon melts a sliver of drifting ice,

the stars quiver a mirage in the night,

when no birds sing at dawn,

the dew already drunk by heat-parched air,

and the cracks in the broken earth yawn

wider, when sun beats hammer blows

in the midday silence out of the drum-taut sky,

and flowers wilt and nothing grows,

crisped brown, prematurely autumned,

we slow and sigh and long for sleep,

to dream of fountains and waterfalling and

pearls that glow full fathom five.

Will this long night end, earth’s kilter restrung,

or will the keening of the owl be the last song sung?