Night Cycles

poetry for a dark night of the soul

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"awaken. revel in the heat of your own flames. feel the drum beat throbbing in your gut, the searing nearness of the sacred fires, the slap of your bared soles against earth as you dance in the ash and embers of your own waking. 

you were made for the light, for spirit and sinew, for the uncertain dark, for hands holding hands holding hands.

the song begins. you are not alone."

- from Night Cycles

Night Cycles is the story of spiritual loss and rebirth, drawn from author Elizabeth Wilder’s' experience of that desert place Saint John of the Cross called “the dark night of the soul.”

Wilder beckons us along as she descends into the deep yet vividly beautiful realms of mystery and unknowing, shedding layers and stale beliefs before returning to the light with vital new life and knowledge.

In the tradition of the mystic poets, including Mark Nepo, Mary Oliver, and Rainer Maria Rilke, these textured poems from a fresh voice nourish the seeker within us all.


Reader Praise for Night Cycles:

"Night Cycles is a stunning collection of raw poetry centered on a theme of spiritual death and resurrection. The common threads of true womanhood, primal femininity and motherhood recur throughout the book as [Wilder] deftly connects cycles of seasons and the moon to life and purpose and rebirth."


"Hauntingly perfect."


"The reason I was drawn to this book was because when people are feeling distant from God, often sermons and theology don’t help as much as story or poetry, genres which tell the truth sideways, in a gentle way. In this collection of poems, [Elizabeth Wilder] perfectly and beautifully articulates the emotions that accompany a dark night of the soul. [Elizabeth Wilder] is a talented poet, and for me the greatest ones were poems such as ‘You say’ and ‘The Beetle’ which combine vivid storytelling with poignant emotion, reminiscent of the late and very great Seamus Heaney. Some of the poems took my breath away, and made me want to read them aloud to a friend. The poems are structured around ‘Descent’, ‘The Dark’, ‘Ascent’, ‘The Light (or something like it)’, so you are taken from a journey from . As well as exploring the questioning of faith, on the way through she also covers themes such as marriage, motherhood and loss, humanity’s relationship with the natural world, and a celebration of femininity. One of the things I love about [Elizabeth’s] work is her ability to make the physical world large and colourful even while she is describing abstract concepts like doubt, joining emotion and body together in her words. Raw, evocative, powerful, and (what I most appreciate in a poetry collection) intelligible rather than obscure – I thoroughly recommend this book of beautiful words."