Heaven’s Night

Fractured spirits – comb the air
staying ‘tween this midnight fair –
and October moon, full and red –
reminding we of long lost dead…
The mourning cries beyond dawn’s light –
of evil’s scorn and other’s fright –
Ghost’s howl into darkened mist –
But seek refuge in shadow’s kiss –
when moon falls pale and sun do rise.
lain showers of love from God’s own eyes –
And we these humble tales do tell
of a night which bourne such hell….
My Lord, My Lord, dearly Thee sever me –
from this earthen talon of devil’s majesty.
Release my heart and soul to thee –
Sweet death to set my spirit free.
Lest my fate is not of heaven’s sight –
but whisked away to eternity’s night.
And such, to Thee, should be my plight –
that heaven’s door not be locked tonight….

© 2014 John Allen Richter

About johnallenrichter

I am an aspiring Poet and adorer of life, a conqueror of nothing. However I am a champion curator of truth and friendship and hold both of those things most dearly to my heart. Welcome to my mind's eye. I hope you will enjoy what you may find and please know that you have a friend here. View all posts by johnallenrichter

9 responses to “Heaven’s Night

  • ladynyo

    John, I LOVE this poem! There is great substance, rhythm and color here, and mystery and fear also. It grabbed me from the very first line. It’s imbued with classical cadence but is much more. Lovely, lovely poem.

    This is a keeper!

    Lady Nyo….and you are a master of rhyming! something I can not do. You must do a lot of sonnets:?

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi Lady Nyo! What a lovely surprise! Form Poetry? .., actually no… My forte’ is not forme’…:) I feel exact form robs me as a poet. Though occasionally I will write in form, such as My Ode to Emily Dickinson was written in Villanelle form – but modified for my uniqueness. Mine has eight stanzas instead of five. Of course form can be many things. The poem above is the simplest form – couplet – where every two lines rhyme. But other times I will rhyme in many forms. When I do write in form it is usually of my own creation – and whimsical – as if I didn’t plan it – but along the way it looked good so I incorporated it. My personal favorite whimsical form to write was ‘Sandman Words‘, where there was a floating couplet that rhymed in each 10 line stanza, and the couplet would change lines by one with each succeeding stanza. Those are the little kinds of things that usually only the poet recognizes and he keeps them as his own little treasures…..


      Thank you for stopping! It is always lovely to enjoy the company of such talented friends….

  • Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

    The classic feel of this is like something that could have been done by one of the classic masters.. Interesting that you say in you comment that form limits you.. here I find that the structure and cadence (and the rhyme) added to the dirge of the subject matter…

    • johnallenrichter

      Thanks for stopping by Bjorn…. And thank you for the compliment. You brought up an interesting point, I think. At least for me I’ve always felt like a bystander to poetry, even my own. I don’t know why my poetry tends to cling to the classical edge, but it does. It’s funny that I can see it does but have little control – or desire I guess – to change it. Sometimes I feel that I have no more power over the form of my poetry – that comes from within – than I do a lint bunny – that comes from my belly button. I suppose subconsciously there’s a piece of me that finds it fascinating – and so that is probably why I lean towards the classical side.

      I know that you are currently studying creative writing and are probably learning about some of the greats – Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Teasdale, Shelley, Poe, Dickinson, Eliot, Whitman, Plath or Sexton….. In study we tend to think of all the different “movements” associated with contemporary poetry. Dickinson sold less than a handful of poems during her lifetime, yet today is considered by many – myself included – to be among the greatest American poets who have ever lived. Other poets like Whitman and even Eliot carried on that flavor of poetry, bringing it much more attention than Emily had the opportunity to. They are the grandparent rebels of freeform poetry.

      In the long run I think we like to think of ourselves (we poets) as uniquely affecting the landscape of poetry. And I agree that we do. But I should think we do not do it as intentionally as we might portray or believe that other -past poets – might have purposefully developed. I think it is more a function of who the poet is – his experiences, his psyche, his memory, and his emotions. All of those things make each of us, poet or not, distinctly unique. And although Sylvia Plath’s poetic “style” was coined as “confessional” by her husbands editor, as was others like Anne Sexton, I’ve no doubt that she or they were not intentionally intending to form their own “movement.” That simply happened, in my opinion, as a result of who they were inside.

      This poem, Heaven’s Night, could be considered metered I suppose, though it doesn’t follow a strictly metered cadence. If it did than I feel it would not be the poem we see here, but something lesser. Some of the greatest poets have remarked that free form poetry is more difficult to write than form poetry. And in one way I agree – instead of dazzling the reader with an ability to force round words into square holes, the free form poet must keep the reader’s attention with devices such as cadence and rhyme. Fortunately that seems to come easily for me. But I do enjoy form poetry when done seamlessly. By that I mean that I find the poem to emote beauty in emotion without knowing or realizing that it was in form all along – until after I’ve read it. That’s when form truly astonishes me. But I will confess that even among the greatest poets I most often find form poetry forced and awkward. And I think that is what I was trying to say above. And also why I like to avoid form poetry myself – because although I’m indeed awkward I don’t like infusing that into my poetry…. 🙂

      • Björn Rudberg (brudberg)

        Thank you John, I think I agree with you on the form.. Though it comes easily for me I think that there are cases when I have to force myself around in awkward ways. I actually find rhyme more restrictive than form, and a few times when I have written in strict blank-verse I have received comments that it was good free verse 🙂 which I see as a compliment. One of the reason I prefer to write in English is that it’s easier to find synonyms that fit the meter or rhythm that I want. An interesting thing with rhymes is though is that they drive my narration forward in ways that is slightly “random” – so in a sense a classic form becomes almost like a dada found poetry. I this apparent randomness is something I want to experiment with more (as well as using slanted rhymes) to bring a bridge between hip-hop and Shakespeare …

        Have a great new year.

      • johnallenrichter

        Yes I enjoy that too. In fact randomness gives the ability of whimsy, which is fun and I’ve seen some of your poetry that is very whimsical and fun. I like to break a slump with whimsy because I get so very serious sometimes. I think that I have too much German in my blood. Sometimes it’s fun to take my Australian bits out for a rum. 😉

  • Sean Michael

    This reminds me of an old folktale. Something Stephen King might put into one of his novels or some script. Coop poem. Thanks.

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