Tag Archives: night

Sutton bonfire night

Flames rise, pouring sparks upwards –
red specks flickering
among the billion bright
diamond points
of a black winter sky.

Faces glow in the firelight
while buttocks freeze,
then vice versa,
as we all enact
a slow human rotisserie.
while as the flames die down
leaves and branches gone,
back to the air they grew from,
we edge inwards
towards the great stumps and trunks
that will still be smouldering tomorrow.

(Imagine us from above, seen in time lapse:
we dance a slow, primal country dance –
spinning on the spot in concentric rings,
which gradually close around the flames.)

A blue dragon dances
past the towering fire,
head swinging to a drum beat
body swaying gracefully,
and followed behind
by a dozen children
gathered from the dark depths
by its glowing lure.

A pair of buskers,
adequate to the occasion,
lit by the church-hall porch-light
provide a backing track
to the how-have-you-beens
and did-you-hear-abouts,
exchanged by the fire.

Firefighters stand around,
poking un-burnt branches into the flames,
the red and blue lights of their engines
flashing in the background,
and the reflective strips on their suits
catching the firelight as they move
sending ripples of light across them
like deep-sea creatures.

As the flames sink
from white-yellow towers
to orange-red mounds
darkness creeps closer
and young blood is overwhelmed
with the sugar of too many
melted, scalded,
or blatantly blackened marshmallows,
and the knee-high and hyper
run in packs like ferals –
appearing
for a moment
from the dark
then disappearing again
trailing laughter.

Swaggering teens cluster
their swearing still sitting,
uncomfortably,
like sharp stones in their mouths
to be spat out from their hoodies
with awkward bravado
as they light sticks
in the marshmallow-toasting fires
now abandoned by their smaller siblings.

And so we are separated by age
(or volume? mass?)
by this strange centrifuge effect –
slowly rotating adults by the fire,
then gangling teens in their half-lit clusters,
and then the little ones,
running rings around us all in the darkness.

Until, dad’s beer and mum’s wine finished,
the sausages, served with bread and gossip,
savoured and swallowed down,
the rings start to mingle,
disperse,
as by ones and twos and threes
parents gather their teens,
their little ones,
and walk away into the darkness
under the billion bright
diamond points
of a black winter sky.

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two snapshots and three short films

I (1700 to 1730)
White lines flicker by like heartbeats
on a black macadam river.
Hills flow slowly by
beneath an indeterminate sky –
pastel-apricot blends imperceptibly to dove grey,
before the rising blue flood of night.

II (1800)
From the kitchen window the sky is a flower,
pansy-hued:
above the scalloped edge of the ridge
an inch of golden yellow ribbon
trims a blanket of purple velvet
specked with the first few stars.

III (1900)
Above the trees,
whose presence is implied
only by the stars that they hide,
Orion has tipped over sideways –
a fallen statue beside a milky stream.

IV (0530 to 0540)
Against a background of a billion bright dust-motes
a scrap of ice and stone,
heated to incandescence,
inscribe its path on the sky.
Blink and it’s gone, but another,
and another,
follows. Lower down,
four planets have lined up to point out
where the sun will later rise.

V (0640 to 0700)
Light comes before colour:
a white sky seen through a picket-fence of black tree trunks.
Then, a confusion of hues; yellows, greens,
and last night’s apricot now fully ripened.
Then the day washes downwards from the sky,
and the tree trunks are silver against blue.

 

Some explanation of IV: I got up at about 0530 this morning to look at the eta aquariid meteor shower. After trundling up the driveway and out the gate, and down the road a little and not seeing anything (other than the four planets currently in alignment) I decided “sod this, it’s too cold”. As I turned to go back up the hill I finally saw a meteor, so I lay down on the road for a bit and saw six in quick succession.  

And this is what I’ve started to think of a pansy coloured sky:

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moon-shadows

tree-shredded moonlight
lies in strips across the path
and drips onto my hair
until, shaking it from me,
it pools on the doormat
where by sunrise it has gone

I’ve resumed my daily walks, but with daylight saving time over my walks are now mostly in the dark.  At least at the moment the moon is near full.

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nightrise

Dusk is rising from the gullies,
gathering beneath the trees
lifting the last light up their trunks,
ripening it from gold to rose as it climbs.

To the east, the blue earth-shadow
like a distant sea overflowing the hills
slowly merges into the deepening sky.

To the west, the sun drops below the ridge,
the last day-light staining the clouds.

Stars appear in the indigo depths.

 

I am trying to walk every evening for at least half an hour, so I’m seeing a lot of sunsets at the moment (and hence also the high fraction of evening poems on the blog at the moment). And it’s occurred to me that night does not fall, at least not in the bush – it rises, flowing up from the valleys and gullies. It’s day that falls from the sky. 

The photo is from this evening’s walk, looking west. I should have taken one to the east as well – maybe tomorrow.  

Linking to dVerse OLN, I’m sorry to miss another live one… maybe next time I will set the alarm to join in, I just need to figure out the time difference.  

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evening soundscape

The cicadas are resting now
(though surely they cannot sleep
through the row of the crickets – Continue reading

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a grunt in the night

What monster is this
that lurks in the night?
It thumps at the door,
and peers in at the light.
With great radar ears
and wet snuffly snout Continue reading

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darkness flows uphill

Night rises from the bottom of the valley,
sending darkness creeping,
quietly,
up the gullies,
its progress marked,
mournfully,
by the currawongs.

Darkness flows uphill,
like the opposite of the water
that,
along with the sky,
still holds the last of the day,
for us to take a final sip from.

 

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2300, still 30C / back of the envelope

dragged from sleep by the heat,
the still air drowning me, Continue reading

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one on r-squared

Proximity trumps everything.
How else can a ball of grey basalt
outshine the stars? Continue reading

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night walks

The trees have sliced the moonlight,
and dropped it
in white strips across the path.
My shadow trails behind me
through this monochrome brightness,
then leads me home
to stand in the doorway
and ask if I want to come in.

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