A Midnight Rendezvous – the 32nd Psalm

A Midnight Rendezvous – The 32nd Psalm

A Midnight Rendezvous

How to Classify This Poem?

I’m not sure how to classify this poem. it is definitely on the dark side but a little quirky. I guess you’ll just have to read it and judge for yourself. I have a feeling you will either love it or hate it, but I welcome feedback in the comments. The meter and ambience of this piece are meant to be similar to Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “The Raven.” I hope you can read it with that in mind.

This poem was originally published on HubPages and anyone who is also a member there may have read it previously. However, despite me considering it one of my best works, it lingers there among my lowest scoring hubs. For that reason, I decided to share it here among my esteemed poetic and creative writing peers.

A Midnight Rendezvous – The 32nd Psalm

‘Twas midnight when I chose to wander

Down the dark foreboding streets.

For my failed attempt at slumber

Is just one more of my defeats.


Street lights shone upon the pavement,

Though dimly through the heavy smog.

My sense acute to every movement,

What was that? .. Oh, just a dog!


Hat pulled down to meet my collar,

Shoulders hunched against the cold.

Gloved hands fumble for a dollar,

At times like this, I feel so old.


The late-night diner’s sign says “OPEN”,

I push through the creaking door.

The city hasn’t yet awoken,

A cleaner sweeps the grimy floor.


A board above the cafe’s counter

In chalk says “Special of the Day”.

I brace myself for the encounter,

Like a sinner who’s about to pray.


Her eyes survey me as I enter,

The smell of coffee fills the air.

I am not here for idle banter,

But lift my hat and smooth my hair.


“Black!” The only word that’s spoken.

The woman looks at me and grins.

The coins I have are just a token

To help absolve me of my sins.


I lift a chair from off a table

Far back in the darkened room.

Coffee helps to keep me stable

But doesn’t help expel the gloom.


I rest my chin upon my arms,

Start to contemplate my life.

Then she strolls over with her charms,

“Is there anything else you’d like?”


My only friend, no not quite that,

In this garbage bin of life.

I give a nod and tip my hat

To my twenty dollar wife.


I take a note from out my coat,

At least to pay I’m able.

She kneels down on the vinyl floor

And crawls beneath the table.


Not a single word is said,

My money coats her palm.

She smiles and bows her pretty head,

I recite my favourite psalm.


I put my troubles to arm’s length

For just the shortest time.

This brief encounter gives me strength

For the mountains, I must climb.


I stand to leave, my conscience clear,

As she sits and wipes her mouth.

I close the swinging cafe door

And walk towards the south.


Arriving home I shower and dress,

Then take some time to pray.

All my sins I must confess,

It is the Sabbath day.

At church, I give my sermon

About avarice and greed,

How the Bible has the answers

That all of us should heed.


Never judge your fellow man,

If you sin don’t cast a stone.

You cannot walk in other’s shoes,

You must face the Lord alone.


None of us is perfect,

But God forgives our sins,

So live your life the best you can

And leave the rest to Him.


My friends, if life gets desperate

And you think you’ll do some harm,

Just open up “The Word of God”

Read the 32nd Psalm.


by John Hansen © 2015

 I decided to submit this poem to the recent Wildsound Festival where it was read by a professional actor and published on YouTube. Please watch and listen to the video below. I hope you enjoy the reading.

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John Hansen

Longtime poet but not in the traditional technical sense. I enjoy rhyme but like to experiment and dabble in many different forms and maybe even make up some of my own. There is always a message or lesson I want to promote through my writing, for that reason, my poetry generally shies away from the abstract and obscure. After a lot of procrastinating I have finally self-published my first eBook of poetry "I Laughed a Smile" at Lulu.com. Now I find myself branching out and experimenting with short fiction. I have also been fortunate to have two poems chosen to be made into songs and recorded. The first "On the Road to Kingdom Come" by Al Wordlaw, and the second, "If I Could Write a Love Poem" by award-winning Israeli/British singer Tally Koren. I am also finding my services increasingly in demand as a freelance writer and I have ghost-written the text for a number of children's books and educational tutorials. It has taken me many years of searching and restlessness to realise that my life's passion is to write. It saddens me that I wasted so many years not devoting to that, but thinking positively, the experiences gained over those years are now wonderful material for my stories and poems. I want to try to bring a new focus on poetry and try to make it appealing to a new generation of young people and those who thought they never liked or understood it before.

8 thoughts on “A Midnight Rendezvous – the 32nd Psalm

  • July 20, 2017 at 6:51 AM

    Excellent, John. I do remember this and enjoyed reading it again after a long time. The actor read it well, putting emphasis in the right places. It is dark, the confession of a man of God who understands those who sin, for he has his own temptations and needs to live with, therefore does not judge others. He acknowledges his sin and confesses his transgressions to the Lord, and his sin is forgiven, for he does not hide it from God.

    The poem is very nicely penned – I read it with the same rhythm as The Raven and it is a smooth flow. Well done, John. A powerful message in your poem.

  • July 20, 2017 at 6:59 AM

    Thank you, Phyllis, for reading this again here. Yes, you explained the story line of the poem very well and I appreciate the kind comment.

  • July 20, 2017 at 7:08 AM

    You bring out the Mickey Rourke in this austere gray to black rendezvous. I can see Mickey with his long to the heel swinging trench coat and his tipped fedora walking into this cafe. He swaggers to his favorite darker cornered section of the cafe and in his usual tone of acknowledgement, Black. There she is lipstick lips ready, high cut skirt tight as a drum, cheap perfume, pencil clinging to her left ear, her blonde hair flowing to her shoulder, what can I get ya honey? The usual, his reply, and flips a $20 for her favor. I don’t see why it sit’s idle at The Hubs, this is a creative piece John, one that a few directors could see beyond and cast an actor like the Mickey was back in the day, to create a movie noir. Sins they say come in many forms, an encounter like this, maybe one of them, but oh what a pleasure to behold. I’m heading to the confessional, I’ll meet you there;-) Bravo, well done, I loved it.

  • July 20, 2017 at 8:35 AM

    Well, Vincent it sounds like you may be comparing this to the likes of 9 1/2 Weeks with Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger (who could forget that.. Or Wild Orchid?) I could actually picture those two filling the roles here. In fact if I had forked out $120 I could have had a short movie made of this poem at the Wildsound Festival. It would have been interesting and maybe I should have.
    Glad you enjoyed it, and yeah, I’ll meet you at the confessional.

  • July 20, 2017 at 6:04 PM

    Wow! I love this! It’s so much fun to read because of the rhythm and beat. Also, the meaning behind these dancing words has fullness and completion in thought to the victory we can have by reading God’s Word.

    I have insomnia, too, and will sometimes not fall asleep until 4:am, and then at 5:am, the cats wake me up for their breakfast…errr.


  • July 20, 2017 at 7:29 PM

    Hey, Tamara. Thank you for your kind comment and so glad you enjoyed the poem. I am sometimes still awake at 3 am but it doesn’t matter what time I go to sleep I always wake up at 7 am to feed the cats and dogs. So, I feel for you.

  • July 20, 2017 at 9:31 PM

    I actually love it John, it is clever and poignant and that rhyming scheme is powerful in the movement. Love the line…’She smiles and bows her pretty head, I recite my favourite psalm’. Love it! great work my friend.

  • July 20, 2017 at 11:03 PM

    Thank you, Tony. That is great praise coming from such an accomplished poet as yourself. Cheers mate.


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