Monday, December 19, 2011

This Silent Night

By Joseph Hesch

Standing on the back porch,
11:39 PM on the 24th.
I’m cold and the chill air frosts
my nose and glasses. 
This is nothing new 

for a late December night,
but something’s different.
The wind chimes dingle-ding
just as they do in August. 
The trees sway and creak

as they did last month
and the months before that.
Perception stretching beyond

fading frame of consciousness,
maybe to snare hoped-for revelation,
I realize it isn't what I’m sensing
that's off. It’s what I’m not.

Over behind the big trees,
and the red-brick suburban bedsteads
lightly snoring smoke into the sky,
the normal hum and howl of
late-night on the Interstate
is absent.
I realize it’s because this is
That Night and travelers are safe

with their own, I hope.
And I want to stay here,
not travel another step,
to breathe in all this cold and quiet,
and breathe out crystaline clouds,
silent hymns of joy.
To be one with
this Silent Night.

Here's a little Christmas Eve poem that was inspired by standing on the same back step as my summer poem, "Illuminati." It's a true response I had to standing there waiting for my golden-haired semi-muse Mollie to do her thing (What else is new?) the late evening of December 24, 2009. Consider it my Christmas card to you, in thanks for the support you've given me in this first year of blogging poetry. I've linked "This Silent Night" up to dVerse Poets Pub for the crew's Open Link Night.


  1. You've described my favorite night of the year beautifully. I look forward to those moments, with anticipation.

  2. Just lovely, Joe. Each Christmas seems to get more commercialised, more of a hassle each year. I find it's so easy to get cynical about it...and yet, there is something so magical about Christmas Eve that will never leave me. Your 'Silent Night' poem captures that quality beautifully. xo

  3. these moments as well when i stand in the chill on the porch and just take in the night...nice write man

  4. Thank you for this lovely moment of peace, just the quiet moment I needed in the midst of all my busy holiday prep.
    I love how you expressed
    " suburban bedsteads
    lightly snoring smoke into the sky"
    How perfect is that?!! I can so visualize this, imagine and smell woodsmoke in the air.
    And I am so ready
    " breathe in all of this cold and quiet,
    breathe out crystaline, lyricless hymns of joy."
    Thank you for sharing this, Joe. Beautiful!!

  5. This is very touching, Joe. Some never take the time to appreciate the silence... especially at this time of the year. Hope you have a great Christmas/holiday!

  6. this is peaceful and serene joe..what a wonderful capture of a silent moment..

  7. wow! talented:) Read through it a few times... just to take in all the good meanings!

  8. Beautiful. I am one with This Silent Night, too.

  9. really lovely. i love those moments, often stand the same way in my back yard, just listening.
    your imagery here was spot-on.

  10. Wonderful poem! I loved all the gorgeous imagery. It just perfectly describes the moment.

  11. ...really like all the 'sensing' and 'feelings' your poem nurtures; not to mention the 'natural' feel of it.

    "to breathe in all this cold and quiet,
    and breathe out crystaline clouds,
    silent hymns of joy."

    And this seems very medatative!

    Thanks for sharing Joe!

    Roger ☺

  12. ah, very peaceful... brings the reader out in the chilly weather.. kinda missin' that right now.. no snow here in Michigan... and no ultra cold weather *sigh*

  13. you pulled me right in once again, into this peaceful yet vivid scene of winter. awesome job! I love being placed in the moment! Thank you, Joe.

  14. loved the snoring smoke and the peacefulness of your write

  15. I would probably enjoy the evening too. knowing everyone was safe.

  16. I can feel the quiet! Excellent piece.

  17. i like the idea of one particular night travels are safe

  18. I love sharing this silent night moment, joy. For me this captures the whole mood of what this season is all about. See what our dog-muses do for us!

  19. Yes, just this:

    to breathe in all this cold and quiet,
    and breathe out crystaline clouds,
    silent hymns of joy.


  20. I like how you captured this silent night. Thanks for sharing your words with us this year. You are just ahead of me (about 2 months) with Blogger this year.

    I wish you a meaningful holiday with your family and friends. (My holiday post is not yet up) All the best for the next year.

  21. You have some wonderful images in this Joe--esp liked the suburban houses 'lightly snoring smoke,' and you totally capture that hush when suddenly we all stop the frantic chase of the rat race for something more real. Happy holidays, and thanks for this perfect Christmas card.

  22. It's amazing how our thoughts become clear in silence isn't it. This is a beautiful walk around the tranquility of your mind even if you were simply awaiting your dog to do her thing. :)
    A lovely read.

  23. Joe, thanks for inviting us to stand there with you, to know and appreciate that silent night. And I do hope you know how much we appreciate you, your constant support and encouragement, not to mention one of my own personal best 2011 memories...You rock the words and our hearts! (Cheeseball...but true!) Here's hoping you have the best of Holidays!And an un-PC Merry Christmas too :)

  24. This is really pretty and sweet. :) Nice re-creation of your surroundings.

  25. beautiful, Joe. needed this moment of exquisite, pristine silence today. thank you.

  26. lovely, esp those last two lines. Merry Christmas, to you, Joe.

  27. A bit of magic in crystalline air.

  28. This is comforting and supportive too.