“Thus the Evening’s Stillness Deepens”

“Thus the Evening’s Stillness Deepens”
(c) 2022 by Michael L. Utley

I don’t want to break the peaceful
stillness of this winter evening
as the gloaming deepens and the
shadows freeze upon the hills

I don’t want to leave my footprints
on the pristine frozen fields
where the haggard cornstalks gather
contemplating harvests past

I don’t want to burden forests
slumbering in hiemal stasis
dreaming of the coming springtime
and the warmth of summer sun

so I’ll tell the moon my secrets
shed my tears in silent prayers
rest my head on silver shoulders
close my eyes and bare my soul

there’s so much to say this evening
as I wait in darkling meadow
for the object of my fondness
as she peeks between the trees

she has never kept me waiting
she has never left me wanting
she has never sent me reeling
in the throes of winter’s woes

I can hear her humming softly
as the stars begin to sing in
perfect cosmic harmony an
airy astral aria

gathering her scarf and mantle
she ascends as alpenglow paints
roseate blush on pale cheekbones
crimson tincture on her lips

as she rises I stand helpless
in this chilly empty clearing
I am powerless against her
I surrender to her glow

there’s a kindness in her visage
as she turns her gaze upon me
there’s compassion as she wraps me
in her shimmering embrace

thus the evening’s stillness deepens
thus the frozen fields glimmer
thus the forests drift in slumber
thus my damaged soul renewed

32 thoughts on ““Thus the Evening’s Stillness Deepens”

  1. Oh charm of charms, what a viscerally resplendent piece! The choice of words, the repetition of certain phrases, the internal and end rhymes and the assonance add to the great rhythm and make it mellifluous and such a stunning piece to read. The use of imagery and symbolism too adds taste to it and makes the message clearer. This, Mike my friend, is a hit out of the ballpark. Thumbs-up. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you kindly, my friend! I’m pleased that you like this one. Your praise is so humbling. I’ve been struggling with writer’s block recently and I was so glad this came into being. Sometimes all it takes is stumbling upon a word or phrase or image or metaphor to kick-start the creative engine. I appreciate your support and encouragement, Lamittan. Thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, David. I really appreciate it. I was searching so desperately for something–anything–to spark the kindling. Images, words, feelings, anything. I don’t know how many times I opened and closed my word-processing program in despair. Finally, that first line popped into my head: “I don’t want to…” and I thought, “What don’t I want to do?” That’s when the floodgates finally opened and the words came at last. I think the most telling line in this piece is “There’s so much to say this evening…” I felt like I’d been waiting in that darkling meadow for ages, waiting for the moon to finally appear so I could talk to her. It was good to be able to write something again. I’m so glad to know you liked this. Honestly, it means a lot to me. Much appreciated. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. Your support and encouragement are so important to me. As I mentioned to Terveen in this comment thread, I find myself returning to the moon when I need inspiration. It’s so meditative and soothing, and Basho’s words come to mind:

      The moon glows the same:
      It is the drifting cloud forms
      Make it seem to change

      Knowing it’s always there is a comfort, and its objective view of the world fosters wisdom and peace. I’m happy you enjoyed this one. Thanks again for your kind words! 🙂


  2. You make pain look so beautiful, Mike. And who doesn’t talk to the moon? I know I’ve gazed at it so many times, my mind and heart calling out to it. There’s comfort and strength in the end, a promise of light at the end of a dark tunnel. The meandering emotions and the descriptive scenes lend so much meaning to your emotions. A beautiful poem with so much soul. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate this so much, Terveen. I find myself coming back to the moon often for inspiration, whether it’s haiku or longer forms. It really does provide comfort for hurting souls (well, unless you’re a werewolf!). The moon provides both literal and symbolic light during our dark nights of the soul which all of us experience at some point. I find it incredible how much inspiration, comfort and wisdom we can find just by looking up into the night sky. Thanks for your kind words and continued support! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

    1. This really made me smile, Aaysid. Thanks so much for your constant kind support and encouragement. I’m happy to know you enjoyed this. And I learned a new term (thanks to you): selenophile. Yeah, that’s me in a nutshell. 🙂 Thanks for being such a wonderful presence in this WordPress community. Much appreciated! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love the first two stanzas – so much of life is about wanting to be out and about and making your mark on the world, and then retreating from that and realizing how much of your own marks you’d like to take back.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just now saw this comment, so please forgive my delay in responding. I agree with you–I’ve left plenty of footprints along the way that I wish I could erase…wrong paths taken, trips and falls (you wouldn’t believe how many scraped knees my heart and soul have!), and just a lot of regrets…and not really anyone to talk to about any of it. I wish I’d had the moon to listen to me earlier in my life. The comfort of a nonjudgmental listener to bare our souls to must be nice. Thanks for the kind words, and my apologies once again for not seeing this comment until now. 🙂


      1. LOL it’s the blogger’s privilege to answer whenever the want! I envy you your double-talent: I’m not really a very visual person. My photos are kind of crime-sceneish. I take photographs very rarely, and there’s usually a dead-looking family member fed up with me in them. I’d like to be able to communicate visually because we live in a REALLY visual world, but I’m kind of resigned to going the slow road now.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. We can always use more crime-scene photographers! 😀 Honestly, I think becoming deaf helped me as a photographer. Even if the whole “other senses compensate for the loss of one sense” theory isn’t valid (I believe it is, based on personal experience), my hearing loss forced me to rely on my vision to a much greater degree. I think it helps me see things a little better than if I’d never gone deaf, and I think it helped me see things in nature that spoke to me as a photographer. Now I’ve got neuropathy in both legs from the knees down and haven’t been able to drive for three years and have problems walking, so photography is a thing of the past. I began posting my images on my blog during a period of writer’s block, but they’ve also served to bring back a lot of memories of those days when things were less complicated. Sort of bitter-sweet, but mostly sweet. 🙂 I’m still hoping there’s a chance to recover feeling in my legs so I can try photography again. I’d love to publish a post about brand new images. Anyway, you’re always so kind in your support (and funny, too), and I appreciate it. (I’m going to be thinking of crime-scene tape for the rest of the night… 😀 )

      Liked by 1 person

  4. “so I’ll tell the moon my secrets
    shed my tears in silent prayers
    rest my head on silver shoulders
    close my eyes and bare my soul”

    🙂 Beautiful!! Sometimes i feel tears in my eyes while reading your poems, Mike.. they are so intense and truly beautiful.. close to heart and soul. Loved this poem, a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, dear Saima. I like to think the moon never disappoints, even when it’s in its darkest phase. It’s always there. There’s such a magical aspect to it. As a boy, I used to gaze at the moon on the farm where I was raised. The farm was 18 miles from the nearest town (and that town had only 700 people), so the nights were incredibly dark and the moon and stars simply screamed for attention in the heavens. The nights were so silent, too, being away from everyone and everything. Anything was possible then–you know how magical (there’s that word again) childhood can be, especially for lonely kids–and the night sky was truly my friend, a safe place. I’ve loved the moon ever since. I’m pleased to know this one spoke to you. Thanks for the wonderful comment. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True!! Moon inspires me too, the night sky is so comforting, as if it silently listens to you.. don’t know whether the moon brightens up the dark nights or the darkness intensifies the bightness of the moon😃 whatever, but both are essential for eachother.
        Thank you so much, Mike, for sharing your experience, loved listening it🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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