Walking at Night

“Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance.”
Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American poet.

As a break from writing fiction, I decided to have another attempt at writing an Etheree, a particular form of poetry.  This form was created some twenty years ago by an Arkansas poet named Etheree Taylor Armstrong.  An Etheree, consists of ten lines of un-metered and un-rhymed verse, the first line having one syllable, each succeeding line adding a syllable, with the total syllable count being fifty-five.

Here’s my attempt

Do we
We Still walk here
Every night
Small dog and I
Together in the
Cold empty streets of town
Where nothing moves and no dogs roam
Where all is locked and barred for the night
We should both go home to our warm safe house.

Lotte and I always walk in the daytime but I have often wondered how different the world would be if we walked at night.  But I know that even here it is not safe for a woman and a small dog to be out late at night.

Note – I saw the repeated word and have now changed it.

“No matter how dark the night we know that whatever happens the sun will rise tomorrow and then all the shadows will be chased away.”
Judith Baxter, Blogger and friend. 1938 –


24 responses to “Walking at Night

  1. Very clever, Judith! Sadly, I think you are right, though, it’s better to take your walks in daylight! 🙂


  2. Blogger and friend. 1938 – . When I put my name like this I really like the part that there is only one date. Carl D’Agostino 1949 – .


  3. well done. you are stretching your writing muscles in a grand way.


  4. I love this! You did a great job with this. I’ve never heard of this form but will give it a try!


  5. This is quite beautiful Judith. I think you can write in just about any form with instant success. Every word you put down creates a feeling. 🙂 Dor


  6. I love your quote at the end, Judith, and your Etheree. You make poetry writing look effortless, what a gift you have! I’ve not heard of this format, may have to try it sometime! Thanks for sharing.


  7. I haven’t heard of this type of poem before, but the one you’ve written sounds good.
    I’m glad you stick to the day walking though, I’d like to think of you and Lottie as safe. 🙂


  8. I’ve never heard of an Etheree either. How clever! The rules make it quite challenging. What a great job you did!


  9. I like this…may have to give it a try. Especially like your quote. May I use it on one of my Sunday blogs?


  10. Pingback: our last night | 20 LINES A DAY – an exercise in discipline

  11. ‘ . . . .
    Cold empty streets of town
    Where nothing moves and no dogs roam
    Where all is locked and barred for night . . .’

    Hi Judith, if it is like this where you live, I probably wouldn’t long to go out at night, even if it were safe enough to do so. It is different when there’s still a bit of life around in the evening. If I’d live in Wollongong for instance, I’d very much like to go out after sun-set to have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine alfresco. Nowadays Wollongong has lovely outside cafes. It wasn’t like this a few years ago. A few years ago it was more like the way you describe it in your poem. We live in a suburb of Wollongong where everything still looks pretty dead at nighttime. You would hardly see anyone roaming the streets. If you’d have to go out in the dark, going out in the car would be your choice.
    I don’t think anyone walks their dog in the dark where I live.


  12. The main street of our suburb is busy at night. We have a couple of restaurants, a cinema and a pub but once away from the main street it is dark and deserted.
    I don’t walk at night with Lotte and the poem just appeared in my head one day. Thanks for your comment:)


  13. I like your poem, Judith, especially the last line. This says it all!
    Just looked at Lotte again on that beautiful silken bed. She looks extremely comfortable lying there!
    Peter saw the picture, and he was reminded of our little dog we once had. On a cold day she would lie in front of our little radiator even if it was switched off! Until Peter took pity on her and switched it on.


    • Thank you Uta. Yes Lotte is definitely a fire spaniel. If the heater in the living room is not switched on she runs back and forth until I put it on. 🙂


  14. Pingback: The End of a Long Day | I choose how I will spend the rest of my life

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