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Posts Tagged ‘night’

Why I Stay Up Late




So gently the darkness
curls around the world,
first dusky, then dim,
then lushly black—
so generous, the way
it thickly spreads
the softest of songs
until silence silks
the empty streets
and velvets the vacant rooms—
even this riotous heart
inclines toward quietude

and whatever part of me
that knows something yawns
and the part of me
who falls in love
with mystery
leans more easily
into the ever-unknown

and I meet the starry
grand embrace,
speck that I am,
and marvel
at my insignificance,
marvel at how enormous
it is, this openness,
this gratitude.

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Things to Do While Not Asleep

Check the time. Reach for scraps of the dream you just woke from.

Close your eyes again. Remind yourself of studies that say

you’re still getting rest even if you feel awake. Curse the studies.

Curse the awakeness. Notice how cursing wakes you even more.

Toss. Count breaths of the person sleeping next to you.

Tell yourself not to be resentful of them, though you are.

Touch your hand to the sleep heavy weight of their leg. Breathe.

Try not to remember something terrible you did long ago.

Perseverate on the details. Wish you could apologize,

though you’ve long since forgotten the names.

Determine that starting tomorrow morning you will be a better person

in a belated attempt to atone for past mistakes.

Tell yourself not to look at the clock again. Look at the clock again.

Calculate to the minute how long you’ve been awake. Worry

about tomorrow. Worry about your kids. Worry about the country.

Worry that you worry too much. Refuse to look at the clock.

There is a lake in the night, dark and deep. Feel yourself held by it,

as if you are floating. As if the night buoys you, cradles you like a mother.

Miss your mother. Take a few strokes in the night lake. Notice

how quiet it is. Feel yourself slip beneath its surface.

When the light comes, swim toward the light.

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I had imagined we’d see dozens of meteors

   streaming across the sky, streaking,

      flaming, impossibly bright.

         Instead, I lay on the driveway

between my son and daughter

   and we stared into the night,

      laughing and singing and listening

         to the sound of the earth turning,

the pavement hard beneath us—

   and above us, the whole

      starry firmament unfolding.

         Not one shooting star did we see, no, but oh,

how the milky way swirled all around us,

   our eyes wide open, my heart soaring, swarming,

      a small piece of matter burning up,

         glowing, impossibly bright,

never quite touching the earth.

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One Illumining

 

 

midnight walk

even my silence

reflects the moonlight

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And this is the chapter

when it just feels

too much too much

to turn on the light

and so you sit

in the dark.

 

This is not a myth

in which you are punished,

turned into a tree or a kingfisher—

nor is this the story

in which you discover

your own light.

 

No, this is the night

in which you are simply

a lifetime of tired

and unable to turn on the light.

And so it’s you

and the night.

It’s you and the night.

And then it’s just the night.

 

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One Reveal

 

 

 

long bright meteor

unzipping the night—

now the dark so naked

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Walking at Night

 

 

One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself, “What if I had never seen this before? What if I knew I would never see it again?

            —Rachel Carson

 

 

And so I memorize how it is

that the cheeks nearly freeze

but the body’s so warm,

how the river informs every measure

but the thoughts sift to silence,

how the body thrills

in its ability to swing one foot

in front of the other, how

walking is just another name

for recovering from falling,

how strange it seems now

that I was once afraid of the dark.

 

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I wake up happy, as if the happiness

were already seeded before I woke.

As if all I have to do to love the day

is breathe. So I breathe. And love

meets me right where I am.

There are days we know we are lucky—

lucky just to wake. Perhaps it’s because

we have known dismal days when

just rising felt like strike three.

But today,I rise with happiness as present

as the dark before the dawn—not

because I deserve it, but because

it’s as natural as the milky way

spilled across the sky, as

normal as the night itself

stretched out like a blanket

to warm the sleeping world.

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Is not like midnight in Colorado.

It’s dark, of course, same stars.

But the air here has a weight

that holds me—as if it’s been having

a long conversation with me

since before I arrived, as if it knows me.

I have come with my arms too full.

The night asks me to set down

whatever I have brought,

to hold it the way it holds me.

I breathe into the night

only to find it is breathing me.

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Shining

 

inspired by Erik Satie, Gnossienne 1

 

 

let me speak only in starlight

and let me wear only song

teach me to love in a minor key

and let the night

be long

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