Vespers, Hunting Creek

after storms, after days of rain
a shallow creek at nightfall –
the scent of honeysuckle drifts
from shore, as we anchor
under a sudden canopy of stars

the half moon’s reflected
in a pool of light, floating iris
winking eye of night
centered among
a Rorschach of trees
leaking their likenesses
into the waters

around us, strokes
of the invisible – fish rippling
the dark of our memories:
friends passing swiftly from us,
our own numbered days

sinful, it seems
to disturb this stillness
with word. Still the longing:
Nunc Dimittis,
Into your hands…Salva nos.

Let nightfall
honor them
with its silence, pray
only the psalm of osprey
and tree frogs
with stars.

Featured in Waking Hours, (2017)
First published in Little Patuxent Review (2010)

Other Poems

Twilight, Ardgroom

County Antrim Archeology


Their voices

Vespers, Hunting Creek


Scottish Lake by roadside

O’Toole’s visionary poems explore the boundaries between light and dark, past and present, life and death.”

—Michael Simms

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