After Sunset

It’s as late as afternoon can get,

the in-between time, when the light
is low and golden on the brink of night,

and the horizon is haunted by the silhouette

of a spiny hawthorn tree blossoming white.
The witch of Beltane protects us from the bite

of vampires and other creatures of darkness, yet

allows grim and silent ghosts, her acolytes,
to cross our thresholds; they don’t need us to invite

them in, not after the last tint of sunset.

Kim M. Russell, 23rd April 2019

Image result for Beltane hawthorn at sunset
Image found on Deskgram

My response to Imaginary Garden with Real Toads Poems in April Day 23 The Tuesday Platform: Gather around for some ghost stories

Sanaa is back with another Tuesday Platform and a poem by Emily Dickinson: ‘I Felt A Funeral In My Brain’. The inspiration for the poem-a-day challenge is to write a horror poem that makes one taste the dark in broad daylight.

41 thoughts on “After Sunset

  1. This is deliciously dark and spooky, Kim! ❤️ I love the exquisite detailing and use of imagery in this 😀 especially; “a spiny hawthorn tree blossoming white,” and the idea of not needing an invitation after “the last tint of sunset.” I have goosebumps! Thank you so much for writing to the prompt! ❤️

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Would you believe that I had a little shiver her? Well, I did. You warned us well on things to come. “yet allows grim and silent ghosts, her acolytes,
    to cross our thresholds …”

    Liked by 3 people

  3. This is one of my favorite times of day to go walking. Those “between times” always feed my imaginative spirit too. Maybe today when I go walking I’ll notice those ghosts coming in to watch the world’s Beltane crescendo.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. You set up this haunting scene to make us shudder at the unknown that comes next. I think we may have been writing about the same thing, different day and perspective.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Beltane is my favorite holiday. I miss being able to spend the night in the fields, dancing around fires, sipping passion fruit juice, swimming in lakes… Complete tangent, I know. I just really miss Beltane celebrations. 😀

    I love the story your poem tells, this battle between mystical creates, the way you leave us to wonder if the “saviors” have really saved anyone, or…

    Liked by 3 people

  6. “they don’t need us to invite/them in”: Spooky! I love how you paint the picture of that light after sunset — how it seems to be a transit between realms. Also, that image of the hawthorn tree is perfect in this atmosphere.

    Liked by 3 people

  7. I knew I could count on you to bring us somethung eerie. There are several hawthirne trees in our woods. I love them alibg with ash and holly trees in our woods along with several oaks topped with mistletoe. I keep specal watch on these trees. I believe these trees guard us. An excellent write

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you, Toni. You know how much I love anything Gothic. We have hawthorn trees and hedges in our garden and they are in bloom at the moment. I agree with you about trees guarding us. Have you read The Overstory? It’s something else and all about trees.


    1. We have quite a lot of hawthorn silhouettes around here and, because Norfolk is so flat, they have been blown by the wind into weird and wonderful shapes that stand out on the horizon. I’ll have to get out with my camera and take some photos, if they will allow it – they might think I’m stealing their souls!


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