Night Calling

The sky is heavy with the smell of rain tonight

And I am heavy

With seeking


I call out in the dark

For a light

And the glimmer is always only the moon


I wait on doorsteps,

Gleaning starlit favors:

Little drops of conversation

The smell of dinner cooking

The clatter of home


I hold out my hands

And the emptiness shines,

It is so light


Feel this touch,

My calling,

Long and lone

Clear like bells

And so hungry

Hungry for a light


4 thoughts on “Night Calling

  1. Oh, my. The rhythm is effective in creating a hauntingly bleak tone. I love the manifestation of the rain (or the coming rain) as an act of seeking – a counter-intuitive moving outwards rather than falling down. This lends the whole poem an interesting sense of moving both away from something and toward something while standing still! Overall, the poem made me feel the speaker’s sadness, loneliness and hunger. I love the image of waiting on doorsteps and gleaning starlight favors. It evokes the image of an ethereal beggar moving through the universe collecting what the star fields have left in them. The emptiness in the poem is awfully beautiful.

  2. Having just read Psalms 8: 1, 3, 4, 6 from this week’s Christian Science Lesson, this poem flipped for me. I now read “heavy” as “full” and the “dark” as “God’s universe.” The light being sought is not the glimmer of human hope but of God’s presence. Whereas “only the moon” seemed at first to be a lonely consolation, it now strikes me as “the work of His fingers” and a lovely touching between Life and Her creation. Instead of a sad beggar, I now see a child of God in his right place gleaning the grace of God and not some sort of material stardust or human delights. The shining emptiness that seemed so daunting upon my first read now appears as God’s dominion which is always ours but not ours to hold onto – thus the open hands. “What is man that thou art mindful of him” is not about loneliness but about finding ourselves, as I now imagine the speaker – hungering after righteousness, hungering to feel the dominion of God rather than a random human handout. I love it when this happens! New insights!

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