Short on time today. But yesterday was National Poetry Day – when I was rambling about rodent genitalia; how poetic – and I just read this via a wonderful post on Segullah. I’m so grateful when someone brings my attention to poets from outside of the British Isles, since British writers formed the majority of my study and so the majority of what I read now.
This blew off the top of my head, to be honest. Whew.
For the Sleepwalkers
Tonight I want to say something wonderful
for the sleepwalkers who have so much faith
in their legs, so much faith in the invisible
arrow carved into the carpet, the worn path
that leads to the stairs instead of the window,
the gaping doorway instead of the seamless mirror.
I love the way that sleepwalkers are willing
to step out of their bodies into the night,
to raise their arms and welcome the darkness,
palming the blank spaces, touching everything.
Always they return home safely, like blind men
who know it is morning by feeling shadows.
And always they wake up as themselves again.
That’s why I want to say something astonishing
like: Our hearts are leaving our bodies.
Our hearts are thirsty black handkerchiefs
flying through the trees at night, soaking up
the darkest beams of moonlight, the music
of owls, the motion of wind-torn branches.
And now our hearts are thick black fists
flying back to the glove of our chests.
We have to learn to trust our hearts like that.
We have to learn the desperate faith of sleep-
walkers who rise out of their calm beds
and walk through the skin of another life.
We have to drink the stupefying cup of darkness
and wake up to ourselves, nourished and surprised.
Oh my goodness. I have a feeling my Tesco shop this afternoon is going to be painted in melodrama with that effortless, elegant beauty in my head.
May your Friday be lyrically lovely, my dears!