Monday, 14 November 2011

The Wee Small Hours

I think that its time for another poem. The last one, about polar bears was posted up in August. When we think of polar bears, endless daylight illuminates the scene but the the Wee Small Hours is much more of a winter poem about darkness and the lonliness of the night confronting the insomniac. If counting sheep doesn't work for you try the strategy outlined below.

The Wee Small Hours

A footstep clunks on my restless pillow,
ruffling the feathers of wakefulness.
My eyes open in the theatre of darkness,
was it the end of an erotic dream,
or is someone knocking at my door?
Echoes of night feed my lonely fear.

Tom cats discussing the shape of the moon,
a roof tile lifting in the wind,
my neighbour’s dog smells a passing fox,
a carrion crow’s cry signals a death.
Nearer to heart, a kid turning in bed,
the loving snore from the pillow next door.

Then thought for the day intrudes;
that list of tasks; breakfast, kids to school,
for dinner, fish pie from the lake in the freezer,
hotly pursued by thought for the week;
a birthday to celebrate at the weekend,
the car insurance to renew on the net.

Then the dark thoughts drawer opens,
its contents spill on the bedroom floor,
as guts from a hung and drawn thief.
Demons and fragrant secrets that haunt, 
like the loose floorboard on the back stairs,
hard to nail down and silence for good.

The trick is to slay the dragons one by one;
don’t let then gang up, put them back
one at a time, pulling a poisonous fang,
then close the drawer tight, covering the sin.
They will die a little each time, but take care,
it’s a small drawer, so stop putting new ones in.

This is a Castle Sinclair near Wick, with Noss Head lighthouse in the background. It features in my second novel-more later.

 The Stuart Agenda by Alan Calder at, and

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