There is some little magic thing that whispers in the night, smoothing out our former fears and setting them aright, forever taking on the problems of the day, righting them and sending them blithely on their way. Settling our nerves with some alchemy of sleep that somehow deals with worries, however wide and deep. Though travails may be frequent, overwhelming in their numbers, at least we have partial relief, nightly, in our slumbers.
We meet in the kitchen,
your face slightly blue
in the light from the refrigerator.
Left-over shepherd’s pie in one hand,
a half-gallon of Costco vanilla ice cream in the other,
you seem suspended in a middle land
between repletion and guilt.
Being here for the same purpose,
I offer absolution,
and we talk about the future,
sitting with forks and spoons aloft,
eating from the same bowl and carton.
It is part of our sensuality,
this culinary communication at 2 a.m.
Wishing to go deeper,
we seek out chocolate
in that place
where you have hidden it
for years––on top of the refrigerator.
Knowing all your secrets,
I am the one who retrieves it this time.
This is what might happen
if we were not divided by miles,
you in your country,
me in mine. As it is,
you feast on ribs from Dexter Barbecue,
I eat the ice cream with a single spoon—
these mid-night fantasies
reality enough for old lovers
building new communions.
This sonnet I wrote six years ago is an extended antonym of Shakespeare’s “Sonnet18,” written four hundred and ten years ago. I didn’t have many readers way back then at the beginning of my blog, so thought I’d repeat it here for the Sonnet challenge, along with Will’s original. Sorry, Will!!! And sorry. Although I often use enjambment in my poetry, I fear there is none here.
by Judy Dykstra-Brown
Shall I contrast thee to a winter’s night? Thou art less lovely and more tempestuous. The lack of wind doth still November’s empty stalks, Oe’r which the winter hath too long a power. Sometimes the too-cold moon hides ‘neath the clouds. Then rarely doth it’s pitted face shine forth; And dark from dark can sometimes rise, Spurred on by fate or providence’s static plan. But thy short winter shall soon pass away, Restore to thee the homeliness of death. Nor shall that birth that brought you forth to light Still claim thee when temporal time shall stop thy growth. As men lose breath and eyes lose sight, So dies this poem, and draws thee with it to thy grave.
by William Shakespeare
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? Thou art more lovely and more temperate. Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, And summer’s lease hath all too short a date. Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines, And often is his gold complexion dimmed; And every fair from fair sometime declines, By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimmed; But thy eternal summer shall not fade, Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st, Nor shall death brag thou wand’rest in his shade, When in eternal lines to Time thou grow’st. So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see, So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
The Haunted Wordsmith’s prompt is to pick up the nearest book and turn to page 62, line 6 and use that line in a story. The book I picked up was Veils, Halos and Shackles and this is the line: “. . . .each night passing through a boundary.”
The Good Wife
Each night passing through a boundary, every morning coming home. Pinned to the day’s agenda with no free time for her to roam the streets of her imagination, gathering images she’d share in all the stories she would write if she had the time and nerve to dare. What would they think if they knew where she journeyed during dreaming time? Would the other wives revile her or tell their husband of her crime?
The lush banks of imagination where she went barefoot and unveiled and did the things that in the real world would cause her to be shunned or jailed were her reward for time in harness, being that person they expected. Veiled and cloistered and obedient. Qualities they all respected. But in her dreams she lived the wild world—unfettered, uncensored and free. It was the only place in her life that she labeled herself “me.”
In that world that wasn’t her world—that place where she was forced to be— She existed as observer, watching a self she labeled “she.” She kept her true self safely hidden. Kept her opinions to herself. All her precious thoughts and talents neatly stacked upon the shelf waiting for her nightly visits when she could take them down and play until the early morning sunlight drew her, regrettably, to day.
Galaxies spin out of sight
far out in this selfsame night
where I attempt to journey in
to universes within my skin.
Whole worlds inside that I can’t know.
I feel sometimes they guide me, though.
How else explain my need to range
into environments more strange.
Like many, thinking I’m unique
when many others who also seek
share a larger journey all,
trapped together on this ball
that spins our world through time and space
taking us all to the same place!
The sun has burned the day away
and set the sea on fire
turning a glowing pathway
into a funeral pyre.
She, too, has left her day behind,
shed like a soiled dress.
What tomorrow holds for her
She has no need to guess.