“Night Poem”

The streets are gleaming tonight

as if a million stars  brought to earth,

splintered into urban mirrors

thrown under lamp posts

reflect an empty  nothingness.

It is a dull mid-winter night,

straining towards spring

with all intention of leaching

the dying seasons

last insult, unleashing it

upon mankind’s discomfort

one more time.

“A foggy day in London town”

Is what I think when I look down

This cotton-wool street scape,

But that has tune and purpose,

And this muted stillness has none.

The rain left a muffling blindness,

Mercifully erasing  stark bones

of tree limbs reaching to sky

Black beggars on seasonal parade.


there is a strange beauty to the night,

Transforming what was common,

Dissolving borders, barriers, dimensions,

Making  a mirage, an alien oasis.

Heavy mists swirl round the ground,

Lift past  unfocused light

combine with  creeping gloom

And turn a hand to pale mystery.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2011

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21 Responses to ““Night Poem””

  1. Margie Says:

    I like this moody telling of a winter night. Winter, though, will soon be gone (not a moment too soon!). I’m looking forward to warm, sunny days in North Carolina.

    I spoke to my friend in NJ yesterday – they had snow.


  2. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Margie!

    Glad you liked the poem….it was written on Feb. 1st….as the fog was heavy here.

    Yes! Spring is coming in fast…noticed some daffs blooming down the street and a few about to spring forth here in the front garden.

    I can’t believe the weather this year, Marge….it’s been a monster, and poor NJ has suffered along with most of the nation.

    I think I am getting too old for the snow and ice. I used to …just a few years ago…sit up and wait for the pitiful snowfalls that come down here….now? I pull the covers over my head and pray for warmth.

    Love and Hugs,


  3. Laura Hegfield Says:

    so much beauty in your writing, always. Thank you so much for your explanation of tanka at osp…something new for me to play with and explore:-)


  4. bluebee Says:

    I love the mood and imagery in this poem, Lady Nyo, specially “a million stars brought to earth, splintered into urban mirrors thrown under lamp posts” and “cotton-wool street scape”. bb


  5. ladynyo Says:

    You are welcome, Laura!

    I had fun with that tanka presentation, and only wish I could have written more! LOL~! But probably I would put people asleep.

    I learned from the research, too. I had been avoiding a important ‘rules’ for a while, and the research clarified for me the difference between tanka and freeverse.

    At least a beginning understanding here….

    Thank you for reading and commenting. “Night Poem” is rather new and probably needs some refining…most of our poems do!

    Lady Nyo


  6. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Bluebee!

    It’s a bit ‘noir’ I would suppose…about as much as I can make it….LOL!

    Thanks for reading and leaving such a kind comment!

    Lady Nyo


  7. Chris G. Says:

    Like the tone of this one, the feel – was struggling for a word to describe it adequately, but then I saw the word you yourself used in the comment of this, and I think noir does it up quite nicely. Succinct way of describing the atmosphere about it. Strong imagery, too. Vivid. Easy to visualize. My one critique is that I don’t like the “Yet” standing alone, with its own line, when literally every other line of the work is so much longer, pushes the imagery so much more – I feel like there should be something more there, driving the work forward. Just a thought though.

    And by the way, I wanted to thank you for/congratulate you on that fine work with Tanka yesterday. Helped a lot of people, I think, and brought some rather lovely works to bear. One Stop appreciates it, certainly!


  8. ladynyo Says:

    Hey Chris,

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    I struggled with that “Yet” for a while, but it’s like a musical pause, stop, etc to me. But I can see your opinion here.

    Tanka! It was a lot of fun for me, too, because I had been avoiding some serious issues with my tanka. The research helped there: I made a breakthrough, too.

    This is what a poetry community is about….helping each other with new concepts.

    Lady Nyo


  9. brian miller Says:

    i love the image of streetlights at night…whatever the weather or in the fog…it does create a sense of mystery…and i like it rather than loathe it…


  10. marousia Says:

    Oh – I could see this! I love the diffused light and the sound of a cold wet night, so moody, atmospheric and anything could happen…


  11. ladynyo Says:

    Hi Marousia,

    I think you have hit it exactly…anything can happen….night, fog…mystery.

    Thank you for reading and your comment.

    Lady Nyo


  12. ladynyo Says:

    Me, too, Brian.

    Thank you for your comment.

    Lady Nyo…pooped tonight.


  13. hedgewitch Says:

    Beautiful and inconspicuously artful march of perfect images and short, concise stanzas full of evocative and moody language.Too many good lines to quote, but possibly the most effective description of fog I’ve ever read in the fourth stanza. This poem doesn’t just create a framework of words, it presents a gallery of pictures complete and visible in every detail. Really really excellent.


  14. hpicasso Says:

    one of the easiest reads I have found in some time…a true pleasure

    Peace, hp


  15. Shashi Says:

    Dear Lady Nyo

    there is so much power in your words that it takes over my thoughts… with your words like

    ‘with all intention of leaching
    the dying seasons
    last insult, unleashing it’

    you take my mind in a strong thoughtful grip… I enjoyed all your poetry and you have a way to deal with nature.. which is raw, evocative and powerful..

    ॐ नमः शिवाय
    Om Namah Shivaya
    Connect with me at Twitter @VerseEveryDay


  16. ladynyo Says:

    Dear Shashi!

    Thank you so much for your praise for “Night Poem”.

    Nature is an easy target for poetry! LOL!…I think a lot of poets imbue it with human characteristics, because it is a way to ‘explain’ that which befuddles, confuses and scares us about it. I have a lot of problems forming poetry around human relationships, so nature is usually a standin for some expression. Or something like this: I haven’t really studied the what or why we write poetry much. It takes other readers to bring things to the surface I find.
    Nature is powerful, the ultimate power made physical. It’s an overwhelming source for poetry.

    Lady Nyo


  17. ladynyo Says:

    Hi HP!

    Thank you for reading “Night Poem” and for your encouraging comment.

    I have a short attention span so I write simple and easy….LOL!

    Lady Nyo


  18. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Hedgewitch!

    Wow….I had to go back and reread “Night Poem” to see what you were talking about…LOL~!

    Some poets are really, really deep in their expressions, their composing poetry. I am more moved with the physical stuff right in front of my eyes, but then, it has to become something more than a visual issue. Giving it a mystery or something alien, gives a bit of interest to what we know as common, but then again, is Nature and weather ever really something we know? For me, it is the ultimate issue of spirituality, and enough of that to fill that endless well.

    You raised the issue of language: this is something I struggle with, finding the right words for the imagery, but sometimes, just sometimes, the visual is so overwhelming in front of us, so spectral, it finds it’s own words. We just hang on. I am sure you understand this.

    Thank you so much for your critique. I learn more about what I write from others than I could ever understand on my own. that is why Oneshot is such an amazing site. A place really to grow.

    Lady Nyo


  19. Kavita Says:

    My gosh!! This was so vivid that when I saw the picture put up, just for an instant I was confused if it was my own imagination, or a real picture!!

    Your words really had me walking those streets, Lady Nyo.. and I was spellbound!
    And that 3rd stanza really HIT me..somewhere real deep… it was beautiful!!


  20. ladynyo Says:

    Hello Kavita!

    Geez, you know what? I am really surprised at the praise this little poem is getting. For years I have sat here in my upstairs room, watching the street down from me, where the huge pecans stand and the fog lifts into their branches. I finally gave in and wrote that poem, but it was something that was just what I would consider a ‘knock off’??? Something fast just to address an itch.

    I learned something here: I learned to trust my own poetic instincts, and that is hard I believe for many of us. It’s this not agonizing overly much about the words, or the form, but just allowing the picture in front of us to form the poem. It’s like this subconscious approach to a poem.

    I think it’s really possible to cut off the flow of a poem by trying to be in control of it too much. Perhaps poetry is meant to be bigger than our will.

    Thank you so much for reading and your insightful comment.

    Lady Nyo


  21. kathy Says:

    yeah nice


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