Saturday, May 5, 2012

Restless


 Restless



I'm looking for peace but night is nervous 
as a pacing man. Instant as I sit my
ears are popped by the self-important buzz 
of an overfed junebug, senselessly, repeatedly
dive bombing the lighthouse
beam of my darklantern hair so
confused that even grey looks bright
here under a muddy sky with no moon.

On the farm behind, a welded gate swings
wide, squealing a pig noise
once twice again. Things rustle
while I stop the scratch of pen to hide
from potential mayhem, outlaw ghosts or 
just a lost drunk tired redneck
wandering in the haunted cow yard 
at 3:00 AM.

The air is overloaded with
an arrythmic rasp of frogsong 
pierced by the bored yap of outcast dogs. 
Only the stars covered with cloud
beautifully make no noise.
Soon the train will come shouting
with its ripping air horn drowning
the murmur of the farmer’s wife saying

“Come in, Come in,”
to someone 
and every third word I write 
I get a slap
on my ear 
from the bug.
All that's left is sandpaper questions
and a world that won't sleep.






May 2012





Photo The Haunted Cow Yard  © joy ann jones 2012

23 comments:

  1. Wayyyyyyy back when, when I was in the air force, I tried amphetamines. I hated them. The part I hated most was that, when I wanted to sleep, I couldn't. The same thing happened later with some sort of weight loss pill. There's nothing I find more frustrating than not being able to sleep, so you have my genuine sympathy.

    Poetry-wise, the line I just love love love is "Only the stars covered with cloud beautifully make no noise." And I know that jumpy feeling of hearing odd noises at an odd hour and wondering what-was-THAT? When Bosco had to spend the night at the vet's for his diabetes, I could NOT sleep cos every little sound seemed magnified without my guard dog on duty.

    I stand ready with the rubba mallet. Let me know.

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  2. I love the "arrythmic rasp of frogsong ", but then I love all of it. It perfectly catches the restless tediousness of the situation. Is it any consolation to know that a fine piece of art has come from it? Probably not, but congratulations, anyway.

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  3. As a fellow insomniac, I read this poem from the inside out, and I marvelled at the amazing imagery your tired mind conjured from the all too familiar wee hours of night.
    I loved every line, every idea, even the fitful junebug for its persistent irritation.

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  4. well i hope you get some rest...what with all those noises...pretty amazing how alive the night becomes when you cant sleep....and the sandpaper questions, got to watch out you dont lose too much skin to them you know...smiles....

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  5. I have to agree "an arrythmic rasp of frogsong" really got my attention. This could almost be your
    dirt farmer" song, for a moment I thought it was. I love the "come in, come in" ... it's as if he is in a half sleep, when you still pick up voices. When I grew up in the country, the sound of horses, dogs barking and then eventually the crickets would all comfort me to sleep. :)

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    1. Thanks, Margaret. Sometimes the night sounds of the country are indeed a comfort, not an irritant. AFA Levon Helm, he means something different to me; though I love the direction his later life took, he's tied into a whole different(and much younger) place for me. I did end up writing to that prompt though.

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  6. I often want to get out of bed in the middle of the night instead of wrestling with my eye lids and pillow. If loosing sleep produces this kind of write, you can always take a nap tomorrow. I really like the line " confused that even grey looks bright
    here under a muddy sky with no moon", here under a muddy sky with no moon would have made a great title too.

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  7. Looks like great poems can be born from sleep deprivation and all manner of irritants! I'm blessed with the ability to sleep anywhere, soundly. Once my gal pal and I got lost in Kansas City, we were only 15 .. until her father could find us/we find him ... local authorities (police) took us into the precinct station, where I promptly went to sleep (after 11pm) .. my friend was furious with me ~ I still remember her yelling 'HOW CAN YOU SLEEP NOW?;

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    1. May you never lose it, Helen. It's a great gift. Sleep is a healer.

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  9. It would be this particular sound there in the "haunted cow yard" that would unhinge me!
    On the farm behind, a welded gate swings
    wide, squealing a pig noise
    once twice again.

    Your poem creates a scene that I, as Broadway's greatest stage director, long to be given the honor of producing. (If I were that person, of course.) It's ok with me if you write the play and someone who really knows the craft does the directing on Broadway!

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  10. To the insomniac's oversensitive ears, everything intrudes where the sleeper's ears shields. I'm a light sleeper, find it hard to nod off when there's something going on in the house or outside (I'm the local noise Nazi, calling the cops to report loud music at midnight and the sort). Poetry's an audible art, we're tuned into angelic frequencies, but I wonder if that sensitivity can develop its own sort of overuse injury, audotory tendonitis a specie of tinnitus, hard listening developing a calcination of white noise. If only we could turn on and off the ear-taps at will. Sorry that the season of some of your finest poems carries with it the price of insomnia; if only we could chuck the demons without tossing the angel as well. (Whaddayagonna do?) This is an exploration to the left of rapture, the sleep noise Nazi calling the cops on those wild noctal voices. And like other disorders like migraines or bad bowels or a long depression, the bad season is a cross to carry, though not without blessings hidden inside those black wings. Just my opinion, and I pray to the angels of Sleepy Time Tea for divine earplugs when it's your time for beddy-bye. Hey Mister Sandman, send this gal a sleep with sweet dreams... - Brendan

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    1. Yes, it's unusual here for the night to be so noisy, too. It's not like this is the city, or even suburbia--yet even farmers are restless sometimes apparently. I think it was the bug that was the worst--june bugs have little spurs on their legs that get caught in one's hair, while they buzz threateningly in a panic next to one's ear--ugh--tho I appreciate their ecological value, I am not especially fond of bugs, as I may have stated a few thousand times, except bees, which I find soothing. Last year's sleepless nights under the stars were accompanied by a heat and drought that killed even insects, so it was much more pleasant to be out under the stars while waiting for Morpheus to come along. The moon last night at perigee was incredibly stunning, though, in the black velvet sky. Thanks for reading B--and I am with you all the way on the noise Nazi thing.

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  11. What an incredibly beautiful description of an all too familiar misery!

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  12. "even grey looks bright
    here under a muddy sky with no moon." Beautiful...the world does feel too noisy, too often!

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  13. I didn't see this one before. Wonderful (if awful). Such different sounds there, so vivid. Very well done. I moved to my current apartment in part for it's relative quiet. The floors are poured concretewhichis awful for the legs--they are covered with some thin panel-- but really keep out sound. Such a relief-- lived partly over a bar for some years-- my novel Nose Dive has a very funny ( I think) character obsessed by the noises coming from various denizens downstairs.

    Did you take down other? Quicksand?

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    1. Thanks, k. Yeah--it just wasn't ready for prime time--nothing to do with your helpful comments, but after reading a few others who'd made the form work really well, I just thought it would be better to revise it at a later date. Glad you liked this one--I spend a lot of time outside at night when I can't sleep, and usually it's quiet as the face of the moon, which is fine with me. We have a slab floor here at the house so I know what you mean about hard on the legs--though hopefully no one is underground beneath it try to kick up some noise. ;-)

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  14. That's very nice (the walking around at night)- I was looking at the poem again - really wonderful sounds here, and wrought in kind of a reverse fashion as if your hearing is making the sound rather than it coming from the outside- or at least your hearing is strongly characterizing/cataloguing the sound.

    I tried the fleurette, but don't know if I'll get time to post as very busy today (and my effort may not be worth the time either!)

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    1. Well, good luck with it. and thanks for the encouragement, k. I'm afraid this whole experience has been rather depressing for me--hope yours is better.

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    2. It's kind of a lousy form, in my view! Some forms are just better than others - which is why some catch on and some are rare, I think. One issue with it is that you have to go for meter rather than syllables--though I haven't exactly. Ha.

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  15. this music was perfect to listen to as i read the piece. i just realized i read it with a grin in my face. nervous as a pacing man, haunted cow yard, overloaded with frogsong, and slapping your ear. this has a natural mood of insomnia, with a twinkle of nonchalance that makes it so good. quiet as the face of the moon ain't bad either:) and by ain't bad i mean very good, of course.

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  16. An excellent evocation of the night!

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  17. Hi Hedgewitch. I enjoyed(for lack of a better word) your phrases that sing deep in the night. darklantern hair,muddy sky, arrhythmic rasp of frogsong, seems that whatever the night brings, it is not lack of creative juices...ami

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'Poetry is an echo asking a shadow to dance' ~Carl Sandburg