A brooding full moon, in image, verse, and spoken word

Author’s note: this piece does not expose a secret, but instead, it deals with the weight and burden of keeping dark disturbing secrets buried away.





hawk moon hangs heavy
in the damp night sky

bulbous moist pearl
in a cold chromium fog

wet slivers of cloud
smear themselves
across its face


like translucent sacks
of moonbeams


glassine billowing pillows

soaked with midnight

stars float and spark

frozen splintered crystal tips
diamond chips
pinprick rips
in blackened space

they wink and wane
and flutter
shattered bits of silvered light

snapping here then not

behind the ghostly white
vapor that slithers
through the firmament

the world devoid of color
aglow in sterling grey
a negative of day

thick and chilled

filled with the sound
of stalking after-dark things


the sorrowing hour
to lay bare your soul
in pale introspection

in grief of secrets

• • •

rob kistner © 2007


To hear poem read by author, click here:


45 thoughts on “Nocturne”

  1. Beautifully descriptive of the nocturnal sky culminating in the darkly revealing ‘sorrowing hour…laying bare…in grief of secrets.’
    Very nice indeed, rob

  2. Thank you so much for your comment on my blog regarding my poem “Wind” it was nice to have someone say positive things when it was my first time posting for Poetry Thursday!

  3. Alex

    Thank you!

    This piece is dreamy — in a Tim Burton-ish kinda way… 😉

    You are most welcome — I enjoyed your post.

  4. Love the vivid imagery. It strikes me as very Tom Waits during his Nighthawks at The Diner era — stumbling around outdoors in the chilly night air, absorbing the night with all of your senses on high alert. Beautiful poem.

  5. Gautami

    Thank you my friend!

    It is my continued genuine delight to know you are reading my posts… 😉

  6. Regina

    Thank you!

    That phrase was one of those that just pops into your mind and you go… ‘right!’, that’s it… 😉

  7. This speaks well to the burden of keeping certain secrets. Wonderful imagery painted with your words. I love poems involving the moon and moonlight, even if shrouded in darkness.

  8. Tara

    You are always kind!

    I love the moon as well… although I may have been born under a bad one rising… 😉

  9. I thought this was wonderful. Your choice of words and how you constructed them together really made this poem something special. You know, in a way this poem was ideal written on a black background in white lettering as it was. Well written.

  10. Beaman

    Thank you my friend!

    Yes, I agree — this piece has a stark, dark essence that feels right in black and white.

    I have a black and white image of a cloud-veiled moon I’m trying to find and upload with the verse.

  11. I love your vivid use of adjectives!
    “diamond chips”
    “the sorrowing hour”
    are a couple of my fav lines.
    In, “a negative of the day”, I think it would flow without THE.
    “a negative of day”???
    What do you think?
    I love your paintbrush of words!
    Very descriptive & colorful.

  12. Meg

    Thank you for your kind compliments!

    In the writing of this piece I was focused at ‘the’ specific night as a reverse of ‘the’ specific day — but it would most certainly work both ways… 😉

  13. definately the most omnipresent time of day…..when one tries to hide under the covers away from the burden of naked truth found in our deepest darkest secrets… we are the most vulnerable at this time

    vivid imagery Rob…..I’ve read it many times over the past couple of days and it always leaves me spooked, in a Tim Burton kind of way 🙂

    very thought provoking. i enjoyed it.

  14. Awareness

    Thank you very much!

    My intent was to stir those feelings of vulnerability, and stimulate some deep thinking… glad it touched you that way… 😉

  15. Love it all, but my favorite lines:

    the world devoid of color
    aglow in sterling grey
    a negative of day

    Makes me think about what the opposite of holding in a secret is, and how that would express itself in a poem.

  16. Rob,
    Beautifully written. Secrets like the night are mere shadows as opposed to secrets in the light of day.
    “the world devoid of color
    aglow in sterling grey
    a negative of day”

  17. Sognatrice

    Thank you very much!

    …depending what secret is exposed — it might be expressed:

    a world devoid of joy
    asunder in chaos
    in rue of this day

    — OR —

    a world bathed in color
    ablaze in rainbow hue
    a celebration day

    We best be wary and wise regarding the secrets we unburden ourselves of… 😉

  18. Rel

    I genuinely appreciate the compliment! 😉

    Always pleased to have you visit.

    Secrets are tricky things.

    Some secrets, kept in the shadow of night, harm no one — save the deserving keeper.

    Some secrets, exposed to the light of day, prove devastating to many — unfairly.

    P.S. Thanks for sharing about your 10 megapixel camera. My old camera was only 4 mpx. You inspired me to explore what’s out there. I ended up with a 10 mpx Nikon CoolPix P5000. Man, the image stabilization on the new cameras is great for macro work!

  19. This is beautiful Rob. As an insomniac, I see the world outside my window “devoid of color, the opposite of day” all the time and find it just as beautiful as when washed with sunlight. Thanks for stopping by my blog, I hope you’ll come back.

  20. Kat

    Thank you for the compliment, and thank you and Ecanus for stopping by! 😉

    Like you, I sleep maybe 5 hours a night… and I find the night as beautiful as the day — both my muse and my nightmares are alive and moving at night.

  21. Rob – this is so lovely – I have read it again and it speaks – I love Lunar imagery and… jam – thanks for visiting

    xox – eb.

  22. I love the poem, and I love the reading of it. To me, it is still scary putting my poetry on my blog – will people read it the way I would and hear the nuances I wish them to? This is a perfect solution to that. And you’re right – a very nice companion piece to mine. Thanks for visiting!

  23. Dara

    Thank you for stopping to visit, and for your kind words. 😉

    Inflection, pace, and pauses are so critical in poetry. Unless you hear the poet read the work, I’m not certain we ever grasp fully the intention.

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