Starry Night



too high

the stars seem to realise

they tumble


along the cobbles

the night air full of fresh chills

a gift unwraps


night breezes

in the sigh of the river

between blue shadows


strangers are busy

at the edge of the vast night

with small talk


long ago secrets

the deep scent of the river

strangers walk on


night-time mosaics

a yellow daub of streetlights

over blue ripples


boats rock to and fro

and slap the waves in their moorings

as knots creak… creak…



This poem was written in response to Carpe Diem #663, Starry Night (Van Gogh), another great prompt hosted by Chèvrefeuille at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai. All of the poems in the link-up can be read here. These haiku relate to the painting that leads this post, “Starry Night over the Rhone”, which was taken from Wikimedia. Sometimes you just have to go with what’s staring you in the face and so, to finish, here’s Don McLean –

6 thoughts on “Starry Night

  1. Ah — wonderful reflections! — it touches upon so many senses, with the creaking knots and the scent of the river – the chilly air and paint texture — a feast.

    The first haiku in the series, though, really takes my breath away. A metaphor for Vincent’s life, it seems.

    And that song is one of my favorites ever 🙂 — even though it breaks my heart a little every time —-

    A wonderful post!!!

    • Thanks, Jen! Phew I’d have felt a bit bad if you hadn’t liked my little Vincentorama 😉

      The first haiku I could only get round to after I’d got all the rest out of my system (so much atmosphere in that picture, it sets the senses jangling). Yes, it does read quite metaphorically, doesn’t it, but then his whole painting style seems like a similar metaphor..

      And what a great performance of the song here! Sad, but… gorgeous, too. This was a UK no.1 record – incredible! 🙂

      • Oh, I *knew* it would *have* to be brilliant, Blake!

        And … this makes sense … the first haiku really *does* feel like a summing-up of sorts. Giving you the whole picture, then coaxing you closer to the painting/ haiku to give you all the little brush strokes that make up that vision. 🙂

        Looked on Wikipedia and it says the song only made #2 here in the States — and there, on the “Easy Listening” charts. o.O

      • Hmm, as you commented, it’s fairly uneasy listening, really – the chords have a nagging sombre quality before you even get to the words.

        Exactly, trying to step back and sum-up the effect of the painting before diving back in… Thanks, Jen 🙂

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