Nature’s Magic

Some say that there is magic in the night,
but it holds no more marvels than the day.
The sun emits her own fantastic light
while moon and stars are safely tucked away.

Though night seems more enchanting, that may be
because nocturnal hours bring mystique.
The starry sky reveals some mystery
but only lets us take a little peek.

Both day and night, our mother’s charms abound;
as Gaia works with Helios and Nyx.
By moon or sun, her magic’s all around.
There is no end to nature’s bag of tricks.

And though it’s true there’s wonder in the night,
there’s just as much resplendence in the light.




The Balladeer’s Song

I came upon a balladeer and asked him for a song.
The troubadour began to sing and play upon his lute.
It wasn’t long until I saw another come along,
and he joined in the merry tune by tooting on his flute.

A fiddler rosined up his bow and joined the melody.
A boy with his recorder came, but he was shooed away.
I smiled as all these people played a ballad just for me,
and then I started dancing like some clumsy drunken fey.

The settlers in the village sang in three part harmony.
A woman fair of skin and hair had brought a tambourine.
The children all looked on in awe, applauding cheerfully.
Oh what a time we had that day, upon the village green.

The band and choir harmonized all through the afternoon,
and all because I asked a balladeer to play a tune.




Dave Irby is a retired law enforcement officer and a U.S. Air Force veteran, currently living in Halifax, VA.

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8 Responses

  1. Julian D. Woodruff

    These are both very enjoyable, Mr. Irby. I have tried to give honor to the night and the moon in verse, but you show me that I’ve been remiss in regard to daylight (except indirectly, through focusing on the effects of light and what can be seen.
    One detail in “The Balladeer’s Song” bothers me slightly: “It wasn’t long … come along.” The repetition here of “long” strikes me as slightly amiss; if you agree, a revision at the start of the line shouldn’t be too hard. (But wait for the contrary opinion!)

  2. Paul Freeman

    Two very readable pieces. The first had me also wondering at our poetic love affair with the night and the moon at the expense of the light and the sun.

    I particularly liked the playfulness of the Balladeer’s Song – the poor boy being shooed away brought a smile to the face. The scene on the village green (no rhyme intended) was so vivid.

    Since they weren’t both line endings, the repetition of ‘long’ passed me by. However, “‘Twas but a short duration till another came along.” would perhaps equally suffice.

    Thanks for the read, Dave.

  3. Gail

    Dear Sir–Only recently have I become reacquainted with the word ‘fey’. I am rereading for the first time in forty years ‘The Lord of the Rings’. Last night I was in Pelennor Fields with King Theoden upon his death. He was ‘fey’. You were most probably ‘fay’. With all due respect . . .

  4. Gail

    My chagrin at your spelling was augmented by my enjoyment of the work–I hated to see it marred in any way.

  5. C.B. Anderson

    Dave, I loved the lighthearted tone of these two poems, and I especially liked how you managed to insert more serious ideas intratextually. The light and the heavy, the superficial and the deep, go hand in hand, much as the exoteric and the esoteric meanings are always conjoined at a higher level of understanding. In other words, you’ve made my Tuesday night a bit more pleasurable than it might have been.

  6. Susan Jarvis Bryant

    David, I like the way you capture the essence of light/dark, night/day and put nature’s wondrous “bag of tricks” on full display in ‘Nature’s Magic’. My favorite of the two is ‘The Balladeer’s Song’ – it swept me away in the rhyme, rhythm and sentiment – it’s a beautiful, lyrical smile of a poem that makes me want to read it aloud and revel in its joy. Thank you!

  7. David Watt

    David, these are both admirable sonnets. I particularly like the lilting rhythm of “The Balladeer’s Song” and the engaging story it brings to life.

  8. Margaret Coats

    Both poems read pleasantly, and both are artfully “rounded.” That is, the end of each recalls the beginning. In “Nature’s Magic,” not only does the first rhyme sound reappear in the couplet, but the very words “night” and “light” are the same. In “The Balladeer’s Song,” you recall your initial request for song in line 7 and again in the last line, showing that the speaker of the poem’s words is in fact the conductor of the “harmony” he mentions in lines 9 and 13.


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