NaPoWriMo 2013 Day 1

Softly Through the Night

She walks

softly in the dark,

her foot on nothing but

still stepping,

still shining with a light

that envelops her whole body,

that is nothing save

the intensity of her soulfire, the

light of her love that still burns even though

he stopped loving her,

stopped seeing


long ago.

But she didn’t stop

seeing him.

She didn’t stop

seeing anyone,

but then they stopped seeing her,

until the fire of her soul told her like a crystal ball


step into this world of darkness


nothing mattered,

nothing but


Now she stopped

seeing everyone, and

everyone stopped

seeing her, and

she walked slowly through

the darkness,

shining foot stepping

on nothing but still feeling,

still stepping,

part of the only light

in this place.

And she walked,

looking for the only other person

that she could see,


who stood in both worlds


Whenever she found him she would

step in front of him and stare


like echo at Narcissus,

having learned long ago that she could not speak

to him, and

could not touch him,

whence her fingers would cause him to

disappear. She

would then have to wander,

wearily, until she

found him again, so

she chose to see his face

over letting him vanish,

even if

his eyes stared through her indifferently,

even if he never responded to her words,

not even to her touch although

his image did vanish,

but she didn’t care


what of this was different from that other world

that she had lived in,


She wasn’t part of his world,

he was all of hers,

and all she ever saw was him

anyway, so

the blackness never bothered her.

She didn’t know

if she was in a new world entirely,

or stuck in her mind, gone mad

with heartbreak,

or if she walked through all things mistily,

walked through her world ghostly,

and although she was there only saw

him. She

stood in the nothingness and looked


saw a distantly glowing figure,


like a ghost,

walking, talking, dancing,

but not with her, to her.

Her approach made no difference,

it didn’t matter if she spoke or not,

but she placed her hands

in the air beside him

and waltzed with him

in painful pretend glory.

And all she saw was


an all he saw was


so what was different

from the world she was in before?

Suddenly in confusion

he paled, then

laughed nervously to his

real partner, said:

“For a moment you looked

like a girl I knew,


but I

can’t recall her name,

and now her face has vanished too.

Just as well.”

Tears stung



and his blurred like watercolors,

but she danced,

on and on,

refusing to stop,

but her trembling fingers,

her distracted eye,

combined to force one mistake

of the placement of her fingers,

which brought his face,

his waist,

in contact with

her hands, and he

paled, widened his eyes,

in shock, in alarm,


“I felt her. I know it.

There’s no mistaking it. It

was her,

though it couldn’t be,



voice began to fade,

his glow to dim,

and she

was alone again, weeping

tears hot with anguish.


fell to her knees

on the floor unseen,

and released two painful sobs

from her tense, hot chest.


glowing, fell, and vanished,

then their flow ceased,

quenched, and

she stood,

face calm, almost grim,

wild but determined.

And she walked softly in the night,

glowing feet treading

on nothing

yet treading

as she went, seeing nothing,

seeing no one,

none save him.

And what was different

from the world she had

inhabited before?

This poem was inspired by the phrase, “She walks in beauty, like the night,” from Lord Bryon’s poem “She Walks in Beauty”. The phrase was part of’s prompt “to write a poem that has the same first line as another poem.” Following were a few first lines, including the one inspiring my poem. That line morphed into “She walks softly in the night,” which is the baseline for the poem I wrote.

And how about you? (“Me?”)Why don’t you give the line a shot? If you read poetry, there’s got to be a line from some random poem that never fails to make you half swoon in the beauty of the English language. Or if you want, write a simple and interesting-sounding sentence and mix it up. Or pick eight of your favorite words and fling ’em together. “Bubble acrid tasteless dissolves empty and  cold-hearted” is a really neat sentence. I’d like to see where someone goes with that, since I have no idea what it means. (Hey, I’m just the writer. Those words sounded right)

Or you could even write a poem full of random words. Use one, fumble for another word that fits, use it, and keep going. When people read it, they’ll nod and smile like they understand your work, but you can laugh inside and be delighted in the knowledge that you yourself have found meaning in only about a quarter of your poem.

I’d love to see what you come up with on this first NaPoWriMo day! Post in the comments if you wish.



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