Photo by Katie Howell on etsy
In a velvet sky the moon sends down its silver glow
Upon the throne between dusk and dawn.
But the sparkle of stars are eaten by a fluorescent yellow,
Brash against midnight; the lights are still on.
On the main road, cars roll in rumbles low and deep.
Human eyelids held open by machines that never sleep.
Red numbers of a clock pierce through shadows to the brain,
Imprinted in half dreams floating between realities.
Furnace whispers are punctuated by distant whistles of a train,
And the fading wails of sirens rushing to their calamities.
In the big city, the night never comes.
Started writing this one on a sleepless night. Sleep is always so much better in cottage country when you can’t see your hand in front of your face and it’s so quiet your ears start imagining the sound of air pressure. Technology has allowed humans to break the natural sleeping cycle and stay awake far beyond evolutionary bedtime. The prompt was for a shorter version of a classic form : the curtal sonnet. Hope you enjoyed.
Thanks for reading,
From the NaPoWriMo website:
The curtal sonnet is shorter than the normal, fourteen line sonnet. Instead it has a first stanza of six lines, followed by a second stanza of four, and then closes with a half-line. The form was invented in the 1800s by Gerard Manley Hopkins, who used it in his famous poem“Pied Beauty”.
Firehouse Centre for the Arts in Newburyport, MA
That huge green cardigan he always wore
When we went to the grey rundown park, wiggling through tubes
With peeling red paint stuck to squeaky sneakers
Crossing eyes and fingers to the soundtrack of laughter
That velvety cardigan draped over the shoulder
Carelessly swinging as he sang, adding kicks and swivels under the golden spotlight
Shining off a purple braid, because that was when he liked his hair long
That wiry green cardigan wrapped tightly as he sipped black coffee
(I always have mine with at least two creams and one sugar.)
By a big winter blue window, nodding to the white crash of cymbals
In the only cafe in town that played rock music because it made us feel alive
That cardigan slumped on the floor, under a blinking exit sign.
I picked it up as I left the stage door.
His name on a star still burning in my eyes.
So this one kind of went on a whim. Instead of taking nouns, colours, and verbs from a look outside a window,
I jotted them down while at a rehearsal for our annual music show. And the words in the list just fell into place in this casual way. Recently, my father lost his uncle living on the other side of the globe, whom I have only met once (with little memory) and who he hasn’t seen in I suspect almost a decade. The character in the poem in no way resembles this man, but these thoughts must have lingered while I was writing. You realize how much we cherish memories when that is all we have left of a human being.
Thanks for reading,