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

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