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Image by Luca Bravo

Sharon E. Ludan

Midnight in the Garden in Sassandra


Drowsing deep in cricket song

I sit

this side of moon,

rising again full-faced

to meet another month, Africa, and

Time! it is different here;

huge spaces

fall out of the sky or

drop from beneath me,

floundering in the void.


When am I? wailing in the night -

only another jungle sound

screaming the pain of life.


Stark the moonlight:

eerie blue quotidian negative;

colors bloom silvery in the night.

(Hibiscus, there, hiding red behind the pallid gleam!)


I step cautiously,

dreaming a dream that does not wake.

The beauty pierces me with

its impossible clarity –

can it be shatterproof,

this transparent suspension

of, is it to be believed,



Putting Up Posts      


Fine dark dirt powder

sprayed his bare ankles,

sticking to the sweaty flesh and

flecking his legs.


The pick cut a quick wound

deep in the earth,

softly yielding.


He twirled a post to whittle a point,

shaving the edges

with a smooth hatchet stroke.


Bracing the post with a wedged rock,

he pounded it into the trough,

then stooped

to pack the loose soil firm.


From that angle

he could see down the river,

through a gap in the bushes

where the path







Is the beauty not enough now,

midst all the gloom and pain?

Can’t you soothe your soul

with moonlight,,



What of those big questions

that echo a refrain:

What should I…

How can I…

Why am I even…?


Why? Why?

You may well ask;

there will be no reply.


Don’t scream to the heavens

or beat the sweet earth. Appeal

to the flowers

for all that is worth.


your gross lamentations

in obscure verse; there will be

no sign

from the mute universe.



will still sing…

waves crash…

stars shine.


The answer is not

theirs to reveal --

it is yours to divine.



  “Lamentations” originally appeared in An Evening with Emily Dickinson, Wingless Dreamer
“Putting Up Posts” was originally published in Sapling and “Midnight in the Garden in Sassandra” was published in Botany Of Gaia, both by Quillkeepers Press

About Sharon E. Ludan

Sharon E. Ludan holds a B.A. from the College of New Jersey and an M.S. from Boston University. As an American diplomat, Ludan has lived and worked in many countries throughout the world. Her work has been published by Proverse Hong Kong, Wingless Dreamer, Quillkeepers Press, Unleash Press; the Kansai Scene; the OSIPP Journal, and elsewhere.

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