Thursday 4 August 2011
The Thief In The Night, or Life Is Too Short To Sleep Through
It came to me, quite suddenly, last night.
Perhaps I should amend this to: today,
it came to me today.
Bright shining hands informed me without passion,
that yesterday had been and gone,
more than an hour ago.
My pillows plumped, I lay
in the uncertain dark of summer's night,
a single church bell
measuring segments of deathly silence,
sliced into equal portions,
reminding me that sleep is of the essence.
Tomorrow is another day,
a phrase to browbeat me into submission,
the tyranny of sleep a burden on my thoughts.
Everyone else around me has succumbed
to dead of night,
The chattering noises of the day are stilled.
Demands on me have ceased.
Now I can breathe, my life my own,
no telephone, no world wide web,
all newscasts hushed,
the music of the night the only sound.
Body and soul at peace, I rest.
And then it came to me:
why must the book be closed,
the lamp extinguished,
the circling thoughts imprisoned and subdued,
the tyranny of sleep obeyed,
obligatory yet elusive.
For once, let me be free of this constraint,
Let me be wakeful,
the hanging moon my only company
until dawn's tender hand
dissolves the shadows of the night and brings
clamorous day once more to call on me.