Silenced by the Sunset

Posted: April 11, 2017 in nature poems

Tonight at dverse Lillian wants us to take the top song of the year we were born and weave its title into a poem. Mine is Riders in the Sky by Vaughn Monroe ~ the big hit of <cough> 1949

riders in the sky label

Black specks of gulls
smudge a bloodied sky
as they head away
to roost for the night.
These riders of
the air spend daylight
blade whirling over town,
filling it with their
banshee cries. But
before a fierce setting
sun they become mute,
slip away down river
to some hidden place
and are pinned there
by the silence of stars.
Surrendering those
darkest of hours to
noiseless hunters that
cleave apart shadows
with sonar
and eyes
filled with light.

gulls at sunset

  1. lillian says:

    In terms of the poem, you had me with the first lines. What amazing imagery you’ve provided here…the black smudge in the bloodied sky. Sunset and those birds up high…flying to roost. The vivid words bely an understanding of these creatures….so very well written.

    And then there’s the image of the “record” — a 78 RPM if my eyes do justice to your image. 1949 (cough) I was a bratty two year old then but these phonograph records lasted well into the days when I remember playing them…setting the needle upon the record and being oh so careful not to scratch them as the needle would play over and over and over the same spot if you did! And then, there were folks who when the usefulness of these “disks” was done, saled them into cement basement walls at a wild party when my folks were sound asleep upstairs! Oh my……memories!

  2. My dad played this on a Gramophone..the teak ones like looked like furniture..Long and wide…you could stack up 5 or 6 singles on top of each other…thanks for the memories. Great poem.

  3. Grace says:

    I gaze up to the bloodied sky and watch them roost for the night ~ Love this line too:

    are pinned there
    by the silence of stars.

  4. Interesting the word “ghost” is left out of the record label. I always thought of the song as “Ghost Riders in the Sky”. Makes an interesting difference somehow. Thanks for the memories.

  5. kim881 says:

    Oh, I remember this! It was popular on Family Favourites (a radio show for families of the British forces) when I was a child – we used to listen to it on my grandparents Marconi wireless!

  6. Kathy Reed says:

    Wonderful imagery here…this song has a special place in my heart for a certain old friend..brought a tear to my eye. )

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