Dancing at Midnight

by E. Russell Smith
The Write Idea
Third Place, April 2017
Judged by R.T. Castleberry


It gets no darker than this.
We will celebrate if you wish,
the essential sunrise, not to
regret the failings of a day
now past and locked away.
Flowers in bud at evening

will open at dawn, a daybreak
of pigment and incense.
Even now the scent of
night-blooming tobacco
possesses God’s acre, narcotic
relief from idle despair.

Step to the measure of old stars
dropping into the night, the lyric
of night birds sure of their title.
Read the rhythm of waves on rocks
and match your steps and fancies
to their elemental rehearsal.


A lovely, atmospheric evocation of night's promises, with some gorgeous lines: the essential sunrise; not to/regret the failings of a day...; the lyric/of night birds sure of their title. --R.T. Castleberry

  • February 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      Nebraska, Summer
      by Greta Bolger
      The Waters

      Second Place

      Goldback Fern
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Third Place

      Negotiatin’ Wi Demons (For wee Rabbie Burns)
      by John J. Williamson
      PenShells

  • January 2018 Winners

    • First Place

      You Arrive Like Fall, Suddenly
      by Bob Bradshaw
      The Writer's Block

      Second Place

      Waiting for the Second Coming
      by Jim Doss
      Wild Poetry Forum

      Third Place

      Homeless
      by J.J. Williamson
      Babilu

      Honorable Mention

      When I Go Out and Then Come Back
      by Guy Kettelhack
      Wild Poetry Forum