Once upon a time, I read that insomniacs keep the sleeping world from disincorporating (tho the description was surely more prosaic.)
I have a clock in my bedroom which does not glow, so when I wake, I’ve no ideas on the time. I flick the button & a blue flash lights, a bolt of pulling me from any thought of sleep; but I must know the hour. Twelve after midnight: time to write.
Recently, I “found” seven grandmothers for my walls – me, who had no grandparents whom I knew. These are women of powerful profile, women of flowing/flown hair from which eagle feathers rise in halo, or drift in unheard winds. I made a Council on my wall, replacing my Vision Board, a grace gathered of wisdom. I put away my nightlight. The silken darkness woke them. Tho quiet til now, I feel I shall hear more, soft sibilants in a tongue far from my native, but conversation / communication nonetheless. This is the first in the “Messages from My Mothers” Series.
NOR MINE TO SLEEP WHEN WHISPERS WAKE ME WISE
I rise to midnight
Wakeful & alone
My life unsung, is flaring to a tone
Unwrapped & watchful,
Barefoot & outside
A shawl to cut the chill
Of night alive.
I wait on words
They rise to overfill
To flow away to rivers, all downhill
These are my true love
Ever, thus, my world:
A child’s hand in fist I might uncurl
To find surprises hidden from the day
My heart sees through all blackness in this place,
A gift to share with all, with sky so dark
Around a glowing moon I set my spark
I write an old September, or a June
One day past full, a dimming, tonsured moon…
The pages in the journal start to fill
For sleep eludes creation as I write…
In daylight worlds, a creature of tonight
Lit from within, the certain glow undimmed
I am forgiven every time I’ve sinned
The Muse awakes, she stirs inside my soul
I scattered during sleep; she knits me whole.
These folded-over pages must unfurl
A child’s fist, I open & uncurl
I see you in the distance of my mind
You are not mine, a message so unkind.
Yet knowing you, I never can be blind.
Your eyes see far beyond a simple rhyme.
As words arise, insistent of their way
These messages in darkness filled by day
With chorus/blessing both, I busy out
When nightfall sleeps, I rise to be about
My muse’s business, all there is to say
O’erflows my heart, my mind up & away
I cannot think, for caught up in this flow
Of all but poem, resting in its glow
The world, unfinished, lest I write some more
Insomnia insistent at the door.
My duties crowd around me; I don’t care
For words all dance about me in the air.
I breathe them in & write them in release
My pen, my soul, my ever-loving peace
There are no hours when I sit to scribe
These poems are my fam’ly, art & tribe
So, hear me Moon – before you fade & fly
These words may live beyond the day I die
I shall return, in line & open verse
A value far beyond that in my purse
This ink, my blood, an overlighting world
A child’s fisted hand you have uncurled
This is as much a river to the sea
My heaven at our door, these words are me
As others live for love & duty sure
I live to write. The muse is at my door
I bid her enter, take a seat & share
She takes up my most comfortable chair
And makes of it a jeweled & shining throne.
I write, & I am suddenly to home.
My life uncircumcised, creation swells
Where others sleep at midnight, I hear bells:
My seven elders whisper from the wall
Tho no one else can hear them, I am called
For all my lives are brought about by words
My mind defrocked, unfeathered, undeterred
My dreams can wait til daylight in the world
A child’s fist, the words inside, uncurled.