While Night Slowly Gathered

Songbirds were singing
as light left the sky,
the day’s warmth lifted up
as the damp sea closed in
and I heard their different voices,
the songs they sang
back and forth between the trees.
Dark came on and they grew quiet,
setting up night camp
high in the green leaves.
The tide bottomed out,
clouds covered the sky
and swifts began to careen,
taking insects at dusk
while the music faded.
I don’t imagine the birds
were singing for me
yet I was glad
to hear their songs
while night slowly gathered.



photograph by Amariei Mihai
















Reading of “While Night Slowly Gathered” with music by Norm Smookler


12 Responses to “While Night Slowly Gathered”

  1. Lloyd Meeker says:

    To my read, this is wonderfully tender and poignant, invoiking the company of natural voices to give context to the gathering night. It seems that an unnatural darkness must reign for a time yet.

    Thanks, Don, for this gentle wisdom.

  2. Maria Frid says:

    Birds sing to informs us of the Greater Song. This tender poem speaks of their deep beauty……….thank you, Don!

  3. J. Taylor Goforth says:

    Lovely rich combo – music, voice and meaning. Thank you Don and Norman!!

  4. Tom Figel says:

    Don, Unlike you, I can imagine the birds were singing for you – and through you, for all of us. Thank you for being so attentive and skilled as you are.

  5. Sandy Jensen says:

    This is well-rounded tumbled beach agate of a poem—it takes flight with those opening two iambic lines.

  6. Stan Grindstaff says:

    Like Spirit incarnation—an ongoing momentary event through all levels of substance—your multilayered expression, Don, evokes the harmony of creation for those with hearts to hear…

  7. William Comer says:

    Everywhere I look are tiny puddles of bird shit on the streets and sidewalks. They seem to say: “Never mind, we mated, we hatched, and now we feed. Nothing poetic about it.”

    Life is gutsy that way.

  8. Veronica Lim says:

    And peace falls over all, as night descends…beautifully expressed through the reading and music. Thank you, Don.

  9. Edward Haimes says:

    “If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants.” Sir Isaac Newton (1675). Don, thank you for letting me stand on your shoulders and share your vision of beauty and order.

  10. Don…I love how you evoke tender imagery.

  11. Dabid Barnes says:

    Love the sound of your Voice sharing these potent words, Don, and I feel the gladness resounding now. Thank you.

  12. Patrick Fitzsimmons says:

    Norman’s music really brings your poem to life. I can easily visualize you sitting in nature as this scene unfolds. Thank you Don

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