Dark days


Hard, now, to tell just where and who I’ve been
These last, dark days. From some strange sleep I’ve woken;
A morning-after taste of strange words spoken,
My mind a rain-washed sky. Phantasms seen
On those dead ways I walked alone: the end
Of days and dreams – of life itself; night falling
Without a hope of dawn; the chasm calling
With sweet and poisoned promises. I’ll mend
As I have many times before; the hole
I dug myself will be filled in. I’m learning
To live again, again: a slow returning
To normal service in my shuttered soul.
A kind of death, a falling out of time.
I’ll go no deeper. So begins the climb.


Decided to try stretching the sonnet form a bit further: ABBA CDDC EFFE GG rhyme scheme, and an extra ‘weak’ or ‘feminine’ (not my terminology!) syllable on the middle lines of the three quatrains. I can safely say I enjoyed writing this piece a whole lot more than the few days that inspired it..! N.


5 thoughts on “Dark days

  1. Wow, this is so good–I missed the form, captivated by the “experience”. Nonetheless, bravo–on stretching the sonnet form, and surviving its inspiration. I’m pretty sure I’ve been “there”, but it didn’t produce a sonnet for me…

    • Thank you so much. I’m always worried that the form might end up ‘getting in the way’, so the fact that you didn’t notice it here is wonderful!! And to have it described as an ‘experience’ is humbling. N.x

      • That’s the funny thing about “forms”–sometimes they’re very helpful for me to structure, rein in, my thoughts–other times, particularly when I’m feeling the emotion of what I’m writing, the form can be a bit confining. Nonetheless, I try to stick to the tanka form–it works fairly well for me, keeps me from going too wild… God bless you!

  2. Nick, I like your experimentation. As you know I believe in craft and experimenting with craft, no matter how difficult that is. I, probably like every human being, has been in this place that makes up this poem’s subject, but to be able to leave it behind in iambic pentameter with male and female rhymes, well… Wonderful work, as usual.

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