The Night Sky

Gunshots like cannons

Rip the air cracking
Has someone died

Through slits in the blinds
I see night sky pitch black
Like ink outside

I listen to the silence
That begs to speak out
I think someone cried

I hear a low mournful moan

Or am I mistaken
Huddled inside

I linger and listen
I hear no more noise
What next I decide

I call 911

Reporting gunfire
Nearby outside

LORD you already know

Where each bullet hit
Who lived – who died

Some poor mother’s son
Or daughter’s in trouble and
The angels cried

It’s late LORD – time for bed

Pulling covers up I rest
Safe at your side

Early morning sun not peeking
Police helicopter cruising – LORD
For us you died

Set free the captives – LORD show
Mercy – your love – a beacon
Breaking the night sky

By Carol Ann Hoel © February 15, 2011


Isaiah 61:1-4 – The Bible – The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; to proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; to appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.

Psalm 91 – The Bible – He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence. He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked. Because thou hast made the LORD, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation; there shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone. Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name. He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

About Carol Ann Ritchey

Life is good because God is good.
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26 Responses to The Night Sky

  1. planejaner says:

    praying, Carol Ann, that this is not also a remembrance-poem…?
    hoping all is quiet where you are…


    • It just happened. I began writing as soon as I finished listening at the window (second floor window) to be sure there really wasn’t a voice out there. I think the voice was my imagination. After it happened, I kept listening to every little noise. I barely heard what I thought was a voice, and I think it could have been my imagination. You know how you hear things, when you think there are things to hear, that you wouldn’t hear otherwise? I was a little rattled. Thank you for stopping by. I am going to bed as the verse says. Your comment came right on the heels of my post. Blessings to you, Jane…


  2. trisha says:

    amen my sweet angel friend. let God act and bring peace on earth again.


  3. Tekia says:

    This is another one of my favorite passages :-). Be blessed dear!


    • Psalm 91 and Isaiah 61 are two of my favorite passages. This really happened last night as I sat reading blogs and commenting. Of course, I don’t know what really happened except that there were shots fired, six or seven, from at least two different weapons. I hope no one was hurt, but I’m sure it wasn’t target practice. Afterward, my thoughts were enveloped around this event, hence, my post last night. Blessings to you, Te’Kia…


  4. nrhatch says:

    Wonderful poem. Hope all is well.


    • Thank you for stopping by, Nancy. All is well. I will never know what really happened, but our neighbor who knows gunfire better than I confirmed that it was indeed gunfire. I knew that, but I wanted to hear it from someone that has more gunfire experience than I. I never really felt unsafe. One wall in the room is almost entirely window, but it was all over in a few seconds.


  5. flyinggma says:

    Oh Carol, I hope all is well with you. I can’t imagine the fear and all the other feelings at the time. Beautiful poem. Blessings to you and your hubby, Jeanne


    • Thank you, Jeanne. I wasn’t really in danger once any stray bullets missed me, except for my curiosity driving me to the window. It was over with in a few seconds. My main concern was the possibility of an injured person needing help. Another place we lived, a similar episode occurred, which resulted in a man dying in the parking lot. Paramedics came but they couldn’t save him. I think this former experience caused me to worry about a victim needing help. Apparently, there was no one hurt, or at least no one remaining at the scene. I have seen more troubles in my latter days than in my youth. Yet, as it says in Psalm 91, “A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.” We have been kept safe in an environment of many sorrows. Blessings to you, Jeanne…


  6. Amen!

    Congrats on your nomination by Trisha for Perfect Poet. Welld deserved. A good call on her part.

    Thanks for the gift of your blog. Poem on …


    • Thank you for visiting, Jamie. I appreciate your stopping by and your kind comment. Sweet Trisha. I didn’t know that she nominated me. I am a caregiver to my husband. He has Alzheimer’s. I haven’t joined in the poetry competitions because of the difficulty finding time to get online. I write for pleasure. I browsed your blog. I like your poetry, Jamie. I subscribed. I didn’t see a way to comment, but I’ll be around enjoying your posts when they come. Blessings to you…


  7. suzicate says:

    You are such a good person. I am always concerned when I hear sirens. I always say a prayer…you never know who it is for and there might not be anyone one else praying for them. It has become a habit through the years that I can’t bring myself to break. I have a friend with a blog that I think you might enjoy. She just started it. She is a kind and wonderful person and a good writer as well.


    • I visited Patti’s blog and left her a few comments. Thank you for the link.

      I wonder how many of us God has put on the siren squad prayer team? I also pray whenever I hear a siren. I’ve been doing it for years, too.

      Thank you for your visit and your kind words. I appreciate it. Blessings to you, Suzi…


  8. Yvette says:

    I was a little worry, your poem had me imagining a firing of bullets outside your window. Glad you’re safe. Beautiful poem and so glad you shared it with us all.xx


    • Thank you for stopping by, Yvette. There were bullets firing outside my window, but not directly. The event happened closer to our next door neighbor’s apartment than ours, which I found out in the morning. I’ll never know what it was about. I looked in the newspaper online, but I didn’t see anything. If every episode of gunfire were reported in the news, perhaps there wouldn’t be room for other news. There were no bodies left behind, so no news. I’m glad of that. Thank you for your concern. Blessings to you…


  9. jannatwrites says:

    Chilling poem. You painted the scene well. I’m glad everything was okay and no one was hurt.

    I saw in the comments that you are a caregiver to your husband with Alzheimer’s. My grandma had Alzheimers and lived with my mom for the last several years. I admire your strength; caregiving is so emotionally exhausting. My prayers are with you.


    • Thank you, Janna, for visiting and for your encouraging comment on my poem. Thank you for sharing your grandmother’s experience with Alzheimer’s. My husband is doing well. He definitely has Alzheimer’s, but severe episodes are not frequent. He doesn’t always remember who I am, but he’s a kind man and treats me well anyway. Still, I know it can get much worse. My prayers are with you, your mother, and grandmother. Blessings…


  10. Naomi says:

    Powerful and evocative words and imagery. So happy to discover that all seems well, certainly with you. Extra blessings, xo


    • Thank you for stopping by, Naomi, and for your comment. Yes, all is well with me, and I’ll probably never know more about the gunfire event. Yet, upon reflection, I wonder why it took place in our courtyard. Hm. Unanswered questions. Blessings always…


  11. Naomi says:

    Just noticed your previous comments, Carol, and my heart goes out to you in your situation. One of my aunts has Alzheimer’s too, so I have an inkling of the challenges you face. All strength in your loving care for your husband. Special hug too.


    • Thank you for your sweet concern, Naomi, and for well wishes for my husband and me. May your aunt be blessed and comforted in her distress, also, and her caregiver. Blessings to you as you write your novel and live your life…


  12. Chloe says:

    What a terrible situation to find yourself in – how frightening my friend xx


    • Thank you for stopping by and for your comment. I was alarmed when it happened. One wall in our living room is almost all window, a huge window. I love having a view of the courtyard, but on this night I felt vulnerable. Once it was over, nothing else happened, and no injured person or dead body was left behind. I hope no one was hurt. Blessings to you, Chloe…


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