I don’t sleep well

With a sleeper’s nostalgia I stare

Through the window

Waiting for the progression

Of color

Through Dulac’s whimsical palette

From twilight to turquoise

Over lavender lawns


I wade through the silence

That lies still and dark

Suffocating velvet

And listen for the dawn of birds

The clear songs

Balanced on the cusp of the sun

Heralding their children

With their bright and pretty courage

I listen to the world

As it uncoils each morning

Horizons stretching

Like a panther waking from its sleep

Night is vanquished

And fragments of light rattle in the air

Trapped in currents that rise and fall

Like a beating heart



5 responses to “Wakefulness

  1. I have a friend who lives in Dulac, Louisiana. I had no idea that there was an illustrator named Dulac, but now that I’ve explored, I recognize some of his work.

    Your poem is exquisite. “From twilight to turquoise over lavender lawns” is especially appealing. It reminds me of a word I used in one post, and which I’ve only recently explored: madrugada. It’s that same time, the hours from midnight to dawn (or, sometimes, the hours just before dawn.)

    This is one fine poem.

  2. Beautiful!!

    Dulac is one of my all-time FAVORITE illustrators (along with Rackham and a handful of Europeans). In fact… I have sitting near me at my desk, a first-edition “Stories from Hans Andersen,” with gorgeous tipped-in plates by Dulac. Sigh. Heaven! 🙂

  3. When sleep refuses to come, that strange period between ‘night’ and ‘dawn’ beautifully captured.

  4. Your evocation of wakefulness is so much more tranquil than my experiences of wakefulness. I would much rather inhabit yours when I can’t sleep!

  5. shoreacres – thank you so much! Confidence restored!

    FeyGirl – his paintings always stun me; especially when I learned that he used watercolor, not oils, to create such rich, jewel-like tones.

    fifepsychogeography – it’s when the windows start to lighten, and the sleepy birds awake to their duties.

    Laurie – sometimes tranquility isn’t so amiable, and I’m lucky to get 3 hours of sleep!

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