Sleeping with the Window Open

I used to sleep with the window open.


The washed out yellow street light
Standing sentinel at the corner next to my driveway
Throws wild shadows on my shelves and walls
That are occasionally stretched into thin waving lines
As the bright pale blue light of the patrolling cop’s
Fluorescent headlights roll past my yard.
The silent murmur of the woods holds sway
Broken by a passing car on a distant highway,
The echoing sirens of a police car needed somewhere quick,
Or the mournful blare of a train lost somewhere in the hills.

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Watching, Waiting

Last night, I watched the moon.

I stood outside and waited for it,
From the first glimmers of starlight
That beat down on me,
            Cold and isolating
            As they spoke of size
            And depth and space
            That were beyond me
            And my little life,
To the bright corona of light
That told me the moon was sitting
Behind trees that stood tall,
            Proud of the ground
            They held against
            The rising tide of Humans
            Clearing ground for fields
            And planning subdivisions.

As the moon rose above the trees,
Full and gargantuation in context,
It threw its light into the sky,
            Reminding the stars
            That they would fade
            Before its brilliance
            And that it shone
            Only for we Humans
            And our little lives,
And smiled down on the world,
Bright on a cloudless night
To lift the veil of nightfall,
            Showing the sparse trees
            For the sentinels they are
            Of a world long lost
            That humans chose to respect
            In all that remained
            Of its wilderness.

I sat and watched as hours passed
And the moon brushed away
The canopy of pinprick stars
That tried to drown it.
            There is nothing up there
            And nothing down here
            That can stop its journey.
            All we can do
            Is sit and watch and wait
            And let it push or pull us
            Like a nightly tide
            Of human emotion.

When it finally came time
For the sun to share the sky,
The moon slowly gave way,
            Fading to a pale disc
            With no light to share
            Until it almost vanished
            In the pale blue
            Of the morning.

I took comfort in knowing
The moon was still there
As I went through my day,
            Sleepless muddled thoughts
            Fueled by extra coffee
            And the knowledge
            Of the moon waiting,
            Hanging on the horizon
            Despite the heavy glare
            Of the unfeeling sun.

Maybe I too can stay my course
Despite the inexorable feeling
That I sometimes fade away
To the point of being overlooked
By anyone who doesn’t care to search,
            That little feeling
            Of having gone away
            Without having left
            And being somehow less
            Than I know myself to be.

            I claim no special kinship,
            At least not one beyond
            What anyone could claim,
            But I do know it holds a place
            As high in my esteem
            As it holds in the sky
            And I am tidally locked
            To its influence.

At End of Day

When the day is done and the fire’s stoked,
When the night is fresh and the world is cloaked
In star-soft mantle of darkening blue
I still have one last job to do.
I compile the words I have found,
Feeling out their shape and sound
As I sort them into categories
In preparation for all the stories
I haven’t had the chance to tell,
Until the fire’s down to a sullen swell
And the first glimmers of morning sun
Tell me that my work is done.


My dreams are a dark unknown abyss
That always deny me restful bliss
As I try to sleep and only miss
Each and every attempt to end this
String of nights forever gone amiss.

My dreams often lose their frightful sheen
When they are so few and far between
I forget the horror I have seen
And eagerly await the next scene
Of whatever story I am keen
To introduce into my routine.

My dreams aren’t sweet, ephemeral things
Tied to secret hopes by hidden strings
But scaly monsters replete with wings
Moving in silence so loud it rings.

My dreams have no blood and guts and gore,
They have something even worse in store
As I toil through my nightly chore
Of knocking on the dark, horrid doors
Of my mind to find what it fears more
Than any monster to wash ashore.

Twenty-Four Hours

The quiet November nights with the soft tip-tapping sound
Of falling leaves, deep chill breezes, and shoes upon the ground.
The starry skies and moonlit nights of staggering back home
Amidst the thrills and cutting chills of winter’s icy poem.
Warm with drink and laughter, no thought is held reserved
For all the shame and hatred that I so rightly deserve.

The still November nights with the raucous, jarring sound
Of hidden laughter and skittering shoes upon the ground.
The cloudy skies and shadowed nights of hurrying back home
Amidst the fears of coming years in anxiety’s poem.
Cold, alone, and mopey, no thought is kept preserved
From all the shame and hatred that I so rightly deserve.

The nights are always growing old
And the air is always growing cold.
All these stories have been told
And all their words are growing mold.
All I have has been sold
And I have nothing to hold.
The whispers grow bold
And I decide to fold.


Whispered words
         like will-o-wisps
Light my foggy mind
p           with little lights
That draw me in
         toward unsafe lands
As I stir and stare
         through too-long nights.

Might-have-beens and
Swamp my listless heart
p           with fetid doubts
As I feel and grope
         my way through
My heavy soul’s
         deep and bitter bouts.

One breath
         as I break the surface
And then I slip,
p           soundlessly sinking
Without a fight
         into the deeps,
Tired eyes
p           all blank and unblinking.

Late-Night Writing

When midnight approaches
And exhaustion encroaches
I make a silent wish:
Just one more late-night hour
To write and feel the power
I have when I create.

A mind full of thick fog
Permeates my daily slog
When I choose to stay up.
Better fog than the loss
I feel as I turn and toss
When I instead choose sleep.

Second shift and spare time
Is never enough to climb
The mountain before me.
I just want to explore
Writing in a time before
I’m bidding friends good night

So for now I contend
With foggy days that descend
From my late-night writing,
All while hoping someday
I will be able to say
I spend my days writing.