Day for Night

Living fairly far north, our day light is long at this time of year. Of course, cloudy conditions can curtail some of the light show, but as we rapidly approach summer solstice, the daylight has crept into the night time hours. Twilight is very long. With the moon waxing and set to be full on the 17th, we barely experience full darkness for very long each night. If you live in a populated area with street lighting you won’t have had the sensual pleasure of the summer solstice’s soft light show where you can see your way down a lane at midnight without the benefit of using a torch or flashlight. (Of course, the midges here might eat you alive on such a night time dander.) Daylight is long at this time of year. Of course, cloudy conditions can curtail some of the light show, but as we rapidly approach summer solstice, the daylight has crept well into the midnight hours and beyond. A friend was still awake at 2:30am the other night and marvelled as the sun began to creep over the yardarm at 3am. Twilight stretches into and becomes our night. With the moon waxing and set to be full on the 17th, we barely experience full darkness for very long each night. If you live in a populated area with street lighting you won’t have had the sensual pleasure of the summer solstice’s soft light show where you can see your way down a lane at midnight without the benefit of using a torch or flashlight. (Of course, the midges here might eat you alive on such a night time dander.)

Poetry practice today is in praise of this seasonal twilight zone. The title, day for night, is a cinematography term use to film night time scenes during daytime (sometimes because of budgetary and schedule constraints rather than artistic reasons). Francois Truffaut even had a 1973 film titled Day for Night, a film about film making which in French was called la nuit américaine (translating as the American Night.) At any rate, the long days and backlit nights of summer solstice feature in the Poetry Daily today.

Day for Night

The long hours of twilight,
their chiaroscuro
painting our world
as if filmed in black and white,
shot as day for night.

We negotiate the familiar
lines and shapes in our landscape
bleached out by moonlight
backlit by a sun barely
slipped below the horizon.
A hare shoots across our path,
a darting silhouette.
Pulses start, rise and recede
after a moment.

In this solstice season
of light sleep
and restless dreams
that come in fragments,
jagged pieces of shadow
their half-light
infiltrating the long hours
of the long light
of the night
in this solstice season
of twilight.


Copyright © 2019 Bee Smith. All rights reserved.

Featured image Photo by Robson Hatsukami Morgan on Unsplash

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