The Call of Night

Dedicated to Doug Shirley, December 2020, near the solstice, as the Shirley's moved into a house in the woods...


Ned Abenroth

12/7/20231 min read

a person standing in the middle of a canyon at night
a person standing in the middle of a canyon at night

And now, each day grows short,

night shadows lengthen,

the dark’s embrace closes in and

offers to take hold.

That metallic taste of sheerness betrays your path

To writhe against this moment is but one way to join in your own undoing.

Be undone;

Writhe if you must.

Shout your fears deep into the wood

and see what beast emerges.

In this night, even half-crazed yellow eyes staring back,

Illuminate the very corners of your heart

Your terror, seeds a freezing tightness that runs up the spine

This road will get you there,

A dance with the bear will do the trick,

The owl will call in due time,

And eventually even the moonless night turns full

But other mysteries are hidden in the black.

If you dare, venture another path

Wrap yourself in night

Enfold yourself in shadow’s robes

Blindfold those stars in your eyes and

Submit to being led into the places you know not:

Seeing not, hearing not, tasting not...

nothing but nothing suspending you,

until at last even "you" is a fading mirage...


Inside the womb life stirs

Cedars bend to witness

Alders whisper the breeze

Bear rolls over in her dreams

The owl cracks one eye...

Dark Dark the night;

Darker still the dawn

in the black



waters of birth.