Tag Archives: night

Rest Your Head: lullaby

Rest your head and close your eyes,
listen to this lullaby:
let the sights and sounds of day
gently dull and fade away;
let the chirping crickets’ song
slowly make the minutes long;
let the fresh and cool bedsheets
softly lower your heartbeat;
let the shadows of the night
send you off to sleep’s delight.

‘Til the morning, shall you float
on a cloud, a little boat,
gently ‘cross the sea of time,
as the hours of night decline.
Sleep now, in the current ride;
cast your cares over the side;
let the waves roll long and slow,
rock your cradle to and fro.
May you find some peace and rest
in the dark night’s warm caress.

4 APR 2017

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When It Comes

When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
right and wrong
and that thin line in between.

In the dark,
you just watch for the lightning.
All the rest?
Doesn’t matter what you mean.

Simple truths
in the shadows become complicated:
black and white
both appear as shades of gray.

Choosing sides
beyond sight of the border,
where you find
it don’t matter anyway.

When it comes,
the night don’t know no difference:
You and me
and the darkness closing in.

In the end,
it becomes uncomplicated:
birth and death
and the sacred space within.

04 DEC 2015

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The Slightest Remnant

Along the edge, the slightest remnant lingers
before it falls away into the void
and dries like alcohol upon the fingers,
its essence there but nonetheless destroyed,

the merest memory of thought or action
caught only by a sentimental whim
unable to return the satisfaction:
the empty echo of a finished hymn.

And yet, that tiny fragment’s lack of meaning
unlocks what always follows, in the end:
an empty room assaulted by spring cleaning
that only waits to be filled up again.

Before the dawn, the night feels it is endless:
a gaping maw that, in the sun, is friendless.

05 JAN 2015

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The Catacombs of Night

Lo! I have wrestled angels in the catacombs of night
and risen, as if from the dead, bone-weary, at daylight,
my sheets soaked through with fevered sweat and every muscle sore,
and tufts of mutilated feathers scattered on the floor,

to find the world transformed in just a single evening’s span
from one of warmth and sunlight to a shadow, pale and wan,
bedraped with funereal shrouds, their edges dipped in mist,
that turn to bitter gray and cold cheeks summer once had kissed.

And from that sleep like unto death, where angels and I tossed,
I woke not knowing why we fought, nor if I won or lost,
nor why the air that morning no more smelt of life’s perfume,
but seemed to hang like sullen, leaden clouds there in my room.

From my opponents, not a word, no revelation come;
as if they were but ancient ghosts, their voices long since dumb,
or worse, bereaved of speech and reason, just their body’s shells,
imprisoned in my dreams between their heaven and my hell.

I felt a sense of deep foreboding creep into my mind,
as if there should have been some message they had left behind,
some alchemic instruction, some archaic mystic key;
but I found nothing in the room, except what seemed like me.

I wondered then, if they were truly angels, or disguised
as such, mere demons I had conjured up to fantasize
some victory against the darkness of my thoughts of late;
some active principle to best my wont to hesitate

borne deep of my subconscious mind, where inhibitions fail
and dreams are formed of both apocalypse, and holy grail,
or if it was a memory brought out by some distress.
I wonder, what if William Blake had been taught to repress?

06 DEC 2006

for William Blake

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The Moon Dancing

The moon is swollen full tonight,
her belly stretched out in the light;
that glow ascribed to pregnant maids
reflects down through the tall pines’ shade
and with a wash of purple blue
includes the woods’ edge in my view.

There in the timid shadows where
the evening breeze parts leaves like hair
a scent of cedar, oak and gum
plays softly as a guitar strummed
against the senses, soft and low,
as limbs brush gently to and fro.

Against the lunar silhouettes
played out along the low slung fence
the moonlight dances, shy and meek,
as if it would, should someone speak,
retreat back to the forest wall
and act as if not there at all.

16 OCT 2005

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Stars at Night: a sestina

To look out at the stars at night
against a distant tapestry
of endless black, that seems to spread
beyond our fickle sense of time
and stretch the limits of our sense
to breaking, is to feed a dream.

No simple, selfish kind of dream –
the kind that wakes you in the night,
half-conscious, where you only sense
your astral footprints on the tapestry
like sand grains, swept by tides of time
into the ocean’s ancient spread;

nor nightmares through which are spread
vile creatures half-real and half-dream,
who live to devour all, in time;
dividing sunlit day from fearful night
with claws that rend that fragile tapestry
between unconscious fear and sense.

No, this dream gives to us the sense
that all of what we know, if spread
out on the floor, or hung as tapestry,
would seem as fleeting as a dream,
a single faint star on a full moon night,
a mere second in the endless hours of time.

The palimpsest we know as time,
the fickle moments with which we try to make sense
of what seem random shifts from day to night,
great gifts and curses wrapped and spread
like shiny baubles on a blackened velvet dream;
on our illusions hang life’s frail tapestry.

Yet mixed among the threads that weave our tapestry
are warp and woof from far beyond our time;
alone, under the stars, sometimes we dream
of ancestors and progeny, who sense
our presence, head back, legs and arms spread,
offering ourselves, and them, back to the night.

At the tapestry’s frayed edge, we sense
an end to time; and hopeful spread
this dream, in silent prayer, each starry night.

20 JUL 2005

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The locust choir at midnight

The locust choir at midnight ends rehearsal
when the night larks begin to bustle ’round;
and even the great roaches find dispersal
preferable when mockingbirds abound.

And so, at half past twelve, I sit in darkness,
not worried over creeping, crawling things,
smoking a cigarette in peace, just listening
to each new voice, the melody it sings.

Some have their own, unique strain; others chorus,
their piping a fugue’s counterpoint. At times,
it seems as though a symphony’s before us —
and then, just silence, or one trill; sublime.

Perhaps they’re nightly concerts, not just practice,
but each new hour seems different than before;
and yet, once they begin, the night relaxes
as if it waits to request an encore.

There at the pit’s dimmed edge, I sense some maestro,
in silence, draped in black just out of view,
with such command of these winged virtuosos
that they need not a single sign, or cue.

Tonight I sat and listened for just minutes,
for it was late, and I needed my bed;
again, the song was sweet, and buried in it
were echoes of the dreams here in my head.

13 May 2005

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