The Dark Night–dVerse Poetics


Photo: jjhiii24.wordpress.com

Photo: jjhiii24.wordpress.com

When night is bathed in ebony
and even stars are wont to pierce
through veils of clouds,
you stumble forward,
grasping crumbled walls
that close you in.

Bleak thoughts now pummel you
like angry fists that rage against
injustice. You breathe oppressive air,
musty, stagnant, born of rank suspicion
that your need shall never know
relief, that hunger rests un-sated.

Today there is no morrow—
only haunting memories of days
unfolded without joy, Your faith
betrayed, you open wide your hand
and watch hope slip out between your
fingers, free of empty promises.

Tonight you stand alone,
shrouded by the chill of winter,
without clear vision. Death stretches
out his hand; you reach to take it,
but not before the nightingale sings.

Anthony’s prompt for dVerse Poetics is to write to darkness, but bring in a bit a light. This is based on “The Dark Night of the Soul” by John of the Cross. The doors to the Poetry Pub will open Tuesday, 3:00 PM EDT. We would love to have you stop by.

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34 thoughts on “The Dark Night–dVerse Poetics

  1. yelena says:

    this touches the depth of my heart…beautifully woven, Victoria.

    Like

  2. vbholmes says:

    Such despair, beautifully conveyed, with welcome hope at the end.

    Like

  3. Imelda says:

    The last line is what we always look for even when we go through darkness. 🙂

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  4. zongrik says:

    standing alone in the chill is very very lonely

    Notes From A Metro Line

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  5. rmp says:

    wow. a very intense piece. After reading this, I don’t blame the stars for not wishing to pierce through such a veil.

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  6. This has such an ominous quality until the very end. Then hope shines. Love it!

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  7. wolfsrosebud says:

    i just loved your opening… and how the nightingale bring forth the light

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  8. Mohana says:

    Beautifully written, Victoria.
    Sometimes I wonder if the monster is really within us? And the light too?

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  9. Susan says:

    It is that small hesitation that saves. As long as we can think of one more thing we can look forward to we caqn live another day. Nicely done.

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  10. So beautifully written with the use of your expressing how gloomy darkness is compared with night and the picture so shows your imaginative creativity. Very pleasant reading about a dark side of life.

    Like

  11. Mary says:

    Ah, this beautifully worded poem leaves me with a couple different messages. The first is that it could be of a person who is actually on the edge of a joyless, painful death….and the hand reaching out finally is the hand of God, taking the person peacefully and blissfully ‘home’ – the nightingale’s song representing the peace. The second is that the person is having a horrible sleepless night (as many can identify with), and the person resists going into the abyss of darkest thoughts when being waked up by the call of the nightingale at dawn!

    Like

  12. MarinaSofia says:

    Oh, dark indeed, sounds like a few nights I’ve had… and sometimes the nightingale cannot be heard in the clashing din that our negative soul makes…

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  13. arathi says:

    beautiful Victoria..the nightingale song does bring the light

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  14. Sumana Roy says:

    I was desperately seeking for light and then heard the nightingale infusing new life…beautiful !!

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  15. billgncs says:

    I suspect you have seen alot of this. Very touchingly said.

    Like

  16. Pamela says:

    Haunting and beautiful, Victoria. Sorry for the late visit. I hope all is well with you and yours.

    Pamela ox

    Like

  17. lynndiane says:

    You nailed the prompt (and almost the coffin)…reawakened by nightingale’s high note!

    Like

  18. i guess it may not be so prevalent in the world of hospice and constant care before death..but i always want to hug the much older person obviously separated from everyone in life..left to face the wall in a wheel chair in the corridor hall..a terrifying thing to me that i only wanted to escape when much younger as i visited relatives there..but a reality i faced at a young age too..that brings the sympathy of a hundred years to me at half that age now..for sure..:)2…

    What a gift i’m sure you are to those you serve in the last darker days of life..and i only pray that the light flows in their eyes..one more time..before lids close to bed..for sleep for morrow ever more………

    Like

  19. Kathy says:

    …somehow I think you had Florence Nightingale in your mind and heart as well as the bird…I admire your ability to deal with death in life for so long being a nurse…not enough can be said for them and hospice..so many in the field.

    Like

  20. Truedessa says:

    Victoria, I’ve missed reading your poems. This one really captures darkness and in the end the nightingale sings..I had to read it twice
    gave me chills.

    Like

  21. Such a beautiful ending Victoria. You poem has inspired my own effort today. Very well done.

    Like

  22. Myrna says:

    I like that ending. The dark night of the soul, is familiar to me, too often.

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  23. ayala says:

    you open wide your hand
    and watch hope slip out between your
    fingers, free of empty promises…..intense, dark and well done.

    Like

  24. Literally darkness before dawn. Love the twist in the last few lines. Embrace that light x

    Like

  25. Glenn Buttkus says:

    “It is always darkest just before the dawn”, or just after the nightingales’ sonata; a bleak ride fused with last gasp hope; heavy with chills, it rides our humanness like a bull rider; liked it’s darkness.

    Like

  26. This is exactly how I want to picture darkness. This is so filled with metaphors of death in smell and sound. And yet that single melody of Nightingales – like a beacon cutting through the suffocating darkness. One of my favorites from you I’ve read.

    Like

  27. claudia says:

    the waiting until the nightingale sings…it gave me shivers cause it carries a glimpse of hope in a desperate situation…

    Like

  28. Grace says:

    I like that last line, piercing in the veil of darkness ~ Today feels there is no tomorrow when you feel betrayed and hopeless ~ This post lifts me up, thank you Victoria ~

    Like

  29. Beautifully written Victoria, the nightingale singing is the perfect end note.

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  30. darkness leads to growth depending on the person. I enjoyed the route you’ve taken here: there’s misery shrouded over the entire write, but, you added that clear vision in the last stanza. The nightingale’s song was a sort of wake-up from a lost soul for the cloudy-headed being in the write. Outstanding write.

    Like

  31. I feel the darkness and the cold. The last paragraph brought some gloomy memories. Excellen writing, Victoria.

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  32. Victoria, those first three lines – gorgeous. Even the darkness helps us grow if we don’t despair and wait for the nightingale’s song. Beautiful take on this prompt.

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  33. I hesitate to click like, while appreciating your artistry, because I’ve had a few nights like that and don’t wish to repeat them! Your last line alleviates the gloom, as per the prompt – without the nightingale the misery would persist in the light of day.

    Like

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