Today at Real Toads, Fireblossom has the prompt. She discovered that she is related to the great American Impressionist artist, Edward Simmons. She has given us a few images to pick one and write about or to find another image. Being me, I did some research and found many wonderful paintings by this prolific artist. the one that spoke to me was Night.  Thank you Shay for this wonderful and meaningful prompt!

As usual I can’t sleep.
I sit on the beach watching the sleeping ocean –
Listening to its susurrus…
The smell of honeysuckle mixes with the smell
of the sleeping ocean – like an artist mixes his paints.
The honeysuckle is magnificent this year
Climbing in fettered freedom on the
growth of trees and small bushes, fences.
On the drive down here today
the car in front of me hit a bird –
A small bird dipping down for a bit of something
in the middle of the road.
I looked in my rearview mirror and saw it flopping.
I pulled over to the shoulder
and ran and quickly scooped it up in my hands,
Where it immediately died.
A bit of blood on my hands
with its eyes still open.
I wonder does it have a nest of babies somewhere?
I go back to my car and put it into a paper bag.
Later that night I bury it in the sand dunes.
The sleeping ocean sings it a lullaby.
I look at the moon on the ocean. One day
I think,
I shall walk into that ocean.
The honeysuckle is magnificent this year.

public domain Night by
Edward Simmons 1889

33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. coalblack
    May 17, 2018 @ 13:15:35

    This brought back something small that I have never forgotten. When was still a child, my (much older) brother was driving. There were two birds in the road, a pair, not any variety I could identify. They sat there and stayed there. My brother assumed they would fly away as he drove closer but they didn’t, and he hit them, very much as you have described here. He seemed mostly annoyed at their stupidity, though his wife–his emotional spokesman–said the next day that he felt really bad about it; maybe he did. n any event, that was about 50 years ago and i still recall it clearly. I apologize for making this comment all about me, but i wanted to say that your poem made me feel better about it, like the birds I saw had gotten the care and attention and respect that you showed your bird, even though mine didn’t. And the water and the honeysuckle…energy changing shape, everything being part of all. It comforts me greatly, reading this, and not just in regard to the poor bird pair. Thanks.


    • kanzensakura
      May 17, 2018 @ 13:20:35

      No need to apologize. I am glad it comforted you and that those two birds killed all those years ago (and obviously not a small thing) are getting their due here today as well. This by the way is a true story. I hold such memories in my brain waiting until they can escape to the light of day. I wonder if that little bird’s bones are still buried deep in the sand.

      Sent from Mail for Windows 10



  2. qbit
    May 17, 2018 @ 14:37:24

    “One day I think, I shall walk into that ocean.” — Wow!


  3. Victoria C. Slotto
    May 17, 2018 @ 20:05:02

    Oh Toni. 😓


  4. Sherry Marr
    May 18, 2018 @ 00:03:46

    I love that you cared for the bird. Your closing lines really hit home. Wow.


  5. sanaarizvi
    May 18, 2018 @ 07:09:47

    “The smell of honeysuckle mixes with the smell
    of the sleeping ocean – like an artist mixes his paints.”

    Sigh … this tugs at my heart in so many different ways 💜 Powerful write.


  6. hedgewitch
    May 18, 2018 @ 07:26:02

    Your voice here is very human and natural, which suits the emotional subject matter well–how life and its twin death are all around us, in us, in many forms and with many faces that seem here both homey and remote…the ending resolves and shapes the whole, so that all the images come together. I have honeysuckle in my old oak in back–each year it climbs higher, each year the oak supports and shapes its course….the hummingbirds come to feed and flash their jeweled necks…well, I could go on with my own dead bird story, but you have said it more completely here.


  7. annell4
    May 18, 2018 @ 08:49:07

    A beautiful story of something that happened while driving. What you did it a ritual of sorts, and these rituals help us to accept what is, even though we don’t like it. You cared for the bird, you did something, and you felt something. I loved this read.


  8. Björn Rudberg (brudberg)
    May 18, 2018 @ 10:28:23

    I do love this, and the end… the ocean will console you in your sorrow for the bird…


  9. Charmed Chaos
    May 18, 2018 @ 12:07:03

    Poignant, sad and so beautiful.


  10. whippetwisdom
    May 18, 2018 @ 12:40:44

    So kind what you did for the bird Toni, sending her spirit on her next journey with love 💜 xxx


  11. kim881
    May 18, 2018 @ 13:51:06

    An inspirational anecdotal poem, Toni! I wish everyone would take as much care of wild creatures, dead or alive. I love the way you set up the setting in the lines:
    ‘The smell of honeysuckle mixes with the smell
    of the sleeping ocean – like an artist mixes his paints’.


    • kanzensakura
      May 18, 2018 @ 14:11:33

      Thank you Kim. I was taught to respect and care for all creatures by my living parents. True story: my parents took me fishing with them a.nd the rest of the family when I was 4 or 5….I caught a tiny fish and cried when I saw the hook in its mouth. When we got home that evening the little fish had died. I wailed until I was allowed to bury it. I wasn’t taken on any more fishing trips.


  12. Frank Hubeny
    May 18, 2018 @ 14:06:29

    Nice description of the sleeping ocean and the bird hit by the car.


  13. Sarah Russell
    May 18, 2018 @ 15:15:27

    So evocative, Toni. A suggestion of a despair with the world and wanting to hang onto the scent of the honeysuckle forever. Beautiful!


  14. Brendan
    May 18, 2018 @ 16:25:22

    Finely lit and writ. The sea has room for our grief, though it needs it entire expanse.


  15. Jim
    May 18, 2018 @ 23:09:09

    This was a sad day for a child, the accidental death of an animal. I also enjoyed the honeysuckle and your excellent way of tying it into the driving incident. I also have written a poem of the loss though I wrote mine so that it could also be the death of an itinerant human. probably a woman.
    I haven’t seen a honeysuckle since I was in grade school. Then I sucked the ‘honey’ out of the end of the flower.


  16. Laura Bloomsbury
    May 19, 2018 @ 04:04:04

    the narrative is so well done – from the opening honeysuckle to the incident of dead bird and hence the ending couplet packs such impact with that juxtaposition – I like the bird buried in sand hearing the ocean
    p.s. you seem to have been hijacked by a spammer in some of these comment above


  17. Vivian Zems
    May 19, 2018 @ 09:37:27

    A beautiful descriptive write. The ocean singing a lullaby is a serene farewell.


  18. Bekkie Sanchez
    May 20, 2018 @ 13:44:31

    One night, we all take that walk.


  19. Grace
    May 21, 2018 @ 11:00:25

    Beautiful though sad share Toni ~ Love that smell of honeysuckle and ocean ~


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