Inktober: 31 Days of Poems: Dark

I’m using daily prompts associated with Inktober (artists doing ink drawings) to spur poetry this month. The poems flow from the prompts, though it may not be obvious (at all); and sometimes the poems are revisions of earlier poems that came to mind when I mulled the prompt. If there’s a photo in the post, it was chosen after the poem was written. I’m “showing my work” by offering some of the words, phrases, associations that came to me for each prompt. The poems may or may not have anything to do with gardens, gardening, or “nature” as it’s commonly considered. To see all the poems (once they’re written), check the Inktober landing page.

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Today’s prompt: DARK

Some associations: in the dark about, darkly, through a glass darkly, shot in the dark, dark horse, dark side of the moon, dark days, darkest hour just before dawn, have a dark side, tall dark & handsome, dark clouds, whistling in the dark, dark continent, dark humour, night, His Dark Materials, Dark Shadows, dark & stormy night, pitch dark, cloudy, darkened, dim, gloomy, murky, overcast, shadowy, dusky, inky, opaque, sooty, bleak, ominous, sinister, occult

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Poem (written around 1993, revised Oct. 2019):


Dry sharp grasses sway moodily
on the sinuous moonless breeze.

An inky western sky floats distant,
casts itself tenebrous on the field,
obscures the musky creaking branches,
taut brittle husks,
ragged wild rose.

The swaying ceases, the air swings stealthily
through the rustling stalks again,
releases the mouldering scent.

The darkness doesn’t change.

Look hard and see the narrow path
I’ve pinched through this field,
tunneled like a deep dark secret
hidden for my somber self.
Look hard. You know this path.
You’ve pinched it too, in your own stained soil.

I have to ask: What right have we,
what lonely, inalienable right have we
to this flourishing darkness,
the margins of the knowable?

The slowly whipping wind
scrapes and scratches again.

©MMWms 1993/ 2019

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