Night Rules

I wrote a poem a few days ago in a style that was new to me called imagism, and it was well received by many of my fellow poets. That poem, Black Words, was dark, and for whatever reason this one is also, which is not the norm for me. I don’t know if it qualifies as imagism, but I call this one, Night Rules. Feel free to comment and/or critique.

Night Rules


Gray white explosion

On dead black sky

Soft fluttering then

Night rules



Dry leaves skitter

‘round fast tapping shoes

Low growl

Too close

Was it wind



Shoes running

Hot breath

Rough hands

Soft white skin


Morning light

Pale cold body

Stripped bare

Silent scream

Rictus grin


Copyright © 2012 C. Mashburn

Shared at: dVerse Poet’s Open Link Night Week 28

Promising Poets’ Parking Lot Poets Rally Week 61

Gooseberry Garden’s Poetry Picnic Week 23


  1. Sherry Mashburn said

    Wow! Horrific imagery, Charlie!

  2. terri0729 said

    Love it Charlie!! Pretty darn cool 🙂 What is this type of poetry that you are talking about? Always curios to learn a new technique.

  3. cheri said

    i sigh deeply because i cannot explain why i really like this poem and Black words…but i do…i think you did a great job at imagism–whatever the heck that is–i felt it:))and i think that is the point my friend!

  4. the first stanza reminded me of the 4th of July, which is not a dark imagery in my head at all. Imagism? I will read more about it, thanks
    Happy G. day! 🙂

  5. Wow, wonderful and punchy, one of your best Charles!

  6. zongrik said

    lots of nice images

    primed to dance

  7. Taylor said

    This one is different,

    Night rules,
    very powerful lines.
    well done.

  8. dc said

    Good stuff Charles – well written

  9. Mr. Watson said

    Dark is good ! I Love it !

  10. Hema said

    Hmmm…a dark and black from you this time. Good one!

  11. meenas17 said

    Well related ,beautiful technique.

  12. Raivenne said

    Whoa! This certainly evokes “a mood”, but I like it.

    • Not really a mood, Raivenne, but I kind of got on that imagism thing last week, and it seems the images all want to come out dark. I almost didn’t post this one, because it seemed so out of character for me. Not the message I want to send, if you know what I mean.
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  13. ~L said

    mysterious… and deep! Great work, Charles!

  14. Chimnese said

    Very creative and the imagery was outstanding.

  15. Miss Kitten said

    Ooh…nice! I’m a big fan of the murder mystery/detective fiction genre so this is right up my cold dark alley.

    • Well alrighty then! Perhaps you need to check out my two crime novels from a few years back: The Devil’s Dust, and Shelter.

      • Miss Kitten said

        I would love to!

      • Okay! They will be winging their way to you tomorrow!

      • Miss Kitten said

        Looking forward to it. 🙂

  16. Horror and a freight defined in a subtle way… Super like!!

  17. Bodhirose said

    I love this, Charles. A whole story of terror and mayhem…ending with a gruesome rictus grin.

  18. Excellent. Good imagery and flow, concise use of words, twisted ending. All good.

  19. this one def has its own grit…the rictus grin there at the end…what i like the most about this verse though is that it engages all the sense…nice visuals, sounds and textures…

  20. Oh yuck!! Very vivid imagery. Great write 🙂

  21. “…Night rules

    Capturing the ‘darker’ side. Well done!

  22. Shawna said

    I keep reading it over and over again. I can’t give you a greater compliment than that.

  23. claudia said

    whew this is creepy and dark…glad i don’t have to walk out into the night right now..

  24. Mary said

    This gave me a real chill when I read it this morning. Your imagism succeeded.

    • Oh good! I love it when I give em chills!
      Thanks for the visit and great comment, Mary!

  25. Becky said

    This is a wonderful departure for you… not that I’m advocating you being all dark!
    Great stuff here Charles.

    • I like to think I’m somewhat versatile, Becky, and I’m not afraid to dive off into a different world now and then. I consider my anchor firmly planted!
      Thanks for the visit and comment!

  26. wow charles! you play with the dark nicely! very different than that of your norm but amazing none the less! you can write anything I do believe! Talent! bravo!!!


    • Sounds like Kellie is campaigning for a “made-my-day” button! Well you got it!
      Thank you, Kellie! You always encourage me (and others), and I appreciate it very much!

  27. The form fit the fleeing feet and “rictus grin” is Poe-worthy.

  28. kaykuala said

    Great verse Charles! Mystery and horrors are chilling but keep the adrenalin rushing. Darkly, creepy imagism, it is . Love it!


  29. I don’t know your “norm” but I like your nights 🙂

  30. upfromthis said

    I admire your courage to try something new like this. It didn’t seem to dark to me. I’m just starting to blog and all I know to do is write paragraphs 🙂

    • Thanks for the comment! My advice is to write what feels comfortable. It will begin to grow as go!

  31. Oh My and YIKES!! … Dark indeed! 😉

  32. Nice imagery… succinct and strong!

  33. Rictus grin…way to go. Grab ’em at the end.☺.

    I had to look up rictus…had a mental pause…then reread the post and it is wonderful…rictus is a perfect fit.

    Siggi in Downeast Maine

    • Don’t ya just hate it when you have to look something up?
      Thanks for the wonderful comment, Siggi!

  34. haunting,

    happy rally.

  35. Jhpoetry said

    seems a bit eerie.. but I could be wrong?! enjoyed reading…

  36. David King said

    I tried this. Not easy, but impressive result.

  37. Wander said

    I fricken love this!! Yes dark, thanks for this. I don’t necessarly go for “dark” poetry, rather I go for good poetry…and this is damn good poetry!

  38. Jigme Tenzin said

    wow wonderful post! Love it!

  39. Darkness so beautiful when seen through the light in your heart 🙂

  40. poetryroad said

    This just gave me chills! I like that it is different from your norm because you are so talented. I have been striving to move away from my norm as well and it can take us to new places. I really love this don’t change a thing!!!

    • I love it when I give em chills!
      I like to try new things, too!
      Thanks for the awesome comment!

  41. Brindle said

    Wow….very nicely explained the darker side…awesome work…:)

    • Thanks! Always good to get a “Wow”!
      I appreciate the visit, and I’m glad you like the poem!

  42. dsnake1 said

    oooh, darkly dark. very vivid imagery, this poem works!

  43. ZQ said

    Geesh, my favorite duck
    …Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot would agree… that this “style” is a good influence for a good concentrated effort for the poet. Very nice outcome.

    • Haha! Took me a munite to figure out what you meant by your favorite duck. Long story behind that duck (don’t ask).
      Thanks for the visit and great comment, ZQ!

  44. Dark story punched right in the face. Smooth delivery!

  45. Nice poem again….

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