After the Longest Night

After the longest night–

float a barque
on moonbeam seas, sail
past stars, glean
ghost-light of
yesterday, interlace dreams
with glimmered visions–

muse! Sing aloud the
birth of sun
from shadow-
world–light candles, flicker-flames
to recall your hopes

caught in spindrift. Soar
moon-bound, star
searching, un-
barred, braided with sparkling dreams
to glide heart-sworn home.

Tonight is the first night of Hanukkah, so this is a December-flavored shadorma sequence of light and hope for Colleen’s Tanka Tuesday challenge using synonyms for Kerfe Roig’s words, mingle and drift. I’m also linking this to dVerse Open Link Night, where Björn is hosting a live event.

55 thoughts on “After the Longest Night

  1. This is gorgeous, Merril! 😀 I love; “Sing aloud the birth of sun from shadow-world–light candles, flicker-flames to recall your hopes.”💝💝

  2. “moonbeam seas, sail

    past stars, glean

    ghost-light of

    yesterday, interlace dreams

    with glimmered visions–“

    You brilliant poet, you did it again. You pull us into the life of imagery that is evocatively haunting; the phraseology of “moonbeam seas, sail…” (which can read as an alliteration), “ghost-light”, “prophetic muse!”, “barque-breezing”, and must I go on and on and on and on? I might as well just copy/paste the entire poem here, it is beautifully eloquent! Your words immersed me entirely and what a joy it was to hear you read it in the live poetry reading today.

    And as you know, I always love your sea imagery. It’s mesmerizing, along with the moon too. I love the whole tone and mood of this poem, it’s like embarking on an adventure; the excitement of it, the finally going home, the happiness… It is all so perfectly captured. I think I also see the influence of Walt Whitman in this piece? Maybe I am reading too much into it. 😉

    Just this morning, I was reading another poem (whose author I unfortunately cannot recall) about Chanukkah which was providing more of a focus on it, as they stated in their author’s note, since other holidays (Christmas) can overshadow the different customs and traditions in the holidays of different religions. To sum it up, I was so happy you wrote a poem about Chanukkah!

    Such a beautiful, beautiful piece. Never cease writing. You are amazing. ❤

    • Oh my goodness! What a lovely and amazing comment. Thank you so much, Lucy. When I’m doubting my skill as a poet, I will return to this one for sure. 😘

      I definitely was not thinking of Whitman, unless it was totally unconscious.
      I’m not religious, but I love the Hanukkah candles. I have a collection of menorahs, so it’s quite beautiful to see them all with burning candles. But we also have a Christmas lights, and I’ll probably burn a solstice candle, too. 😏. All part of light in the darkest time of year.

  3. Didn’t realize it was shadorma sequence while I listened (did you mention it in advance?) but finding out here, reading, seriously enhanced an already stellar piece. Congrats. Looking forward to more. MORE, PLEASE.

  4. To me this reads like a beautiful and heart-soothing lullaby: ‘barque-breezing,/
    caught in spindrift. Soar’ love how you’ve used enjambment so the lines flow seamlessly. Really enjoyed hearing you read!

  5. I so enjoyed your reading of your beautiful shadorma sequence, Merril, so good you read it twice! I love that you used the word ‘barque’, not a word that’s used much these days, and the thought of gleaning ghost-light of yesterday and interlacing dreams with glimmered visions is more than appealing. The phrase that stood out as you read and stuck in my mind is ‘flicker-flames to recall your hopes’.

    • Thank you so much, Kim! I appreciate your kind words.
      I read the poem to my husband while we were having dinner (because I’d left the paper on the table). He was totally confused because he thought I meant the bark of a tree. . .🤣

  6. It was a treat hearing you read this on the recording yesterday, sorry I missed everyone live! I think Lucy picked all the lines I liked with her comment 👏 There is some great wordplay and alliteration here that just makes the whole poem so soft to the touch. I want to wrap myself in this poem like a warm, fuzzy blanket, just mesmerizing!! ✨

  7. To be at home in the stars. So lovely, I love Shadormas, found your use of mid-line enjambment interesting, I found in the recording, when you weren’t forzen, 😉 that you followed the enjambments in the meter, I read it aloud, focusing on the breaks only in the lines to get the Shadorma rhythm. Both ways are fun! The rich images here let me sail back and forth from window sail upward gazing to the stars and back, holding always that hope of home. Reminds me a bit of the smells of your prior christmas baking poem I think I am recalling. Hope all your holdiays are joyful friend. 🙂

    • Thank you for your comment, Lona, and for your careful reading–and reading aloud! I tried to punctuate this very carefully to make sense, and then I tried to read the poem that way. But however you read it, I”m pleased you enjoyed it.
      I bake all the time–challah and pumpkin bread this afternoon– so I’m sure it’s come up in a poem. 😀

  8. barred, braided with sparkling dreams
    to glide heart-sworn home.

    I missed the reading part Merril, Ma’am. The sequence shows a right to follow a fully thought out poem that flows smoothly. I like that! And the last one brings it to a perfect close.


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