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Sleep ( prose poem)


goldenlangur

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goldenlangur

Sleep (Prose Poem)

 

One face, two sides – the first, slovenly asleep, the other, wakeful and watching. Both are seemingly inert.

 

The sky bled tonight and the sun afraid of a ‘wrongful arrest’ slipped behind the ridge but the clouds’ red entrails trailed the sun’s ‘footprints’ in the west. The moon aghast, held her breath, summoned all her powers to silver the mess.

 

But all is not quiet. The clock ticks, tocks, cars moan, screech and carry on.

 

100 years of the monarchy – headlines of the past few weeks skid around and then a thought:

 

On our New Year’s Day, elections in Pakistan! A new era?

 

Lark Ascending – is that a poem? A song? No, it’s music! Who’s the composer? Perhaps I could google.

 

Sleep, a dream.

 

goldenlangur

27.1.8

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Hello Goldenlangur,

 

It seems that s/he whom the narrator describes sleeps "with one eye open," but there is an element of cunningness: the two-sided face appears "inert." You go on to masterfully describe a twilight --

The sky bled tonight and the sun afraid of a ‘wrongful arrest’ slipped behind the ridge but the clouds’ red entrails trailed the sun’s ‘footprints’ in the west. The moon aghast, held her breath, summoned all her powers to the silver mess,

-- but it's not about beauty. Expressions like "wrongful arrest," "red entrails," "moon aghast," and "silver mess" tip off the reader that something is awry.

 

The unsettling feeling is augmented in the next part, where you write,

But all is not quiet. The clock ticks, tocks, cars moan, screech and carry on.

Sleep should be peaceful, but there can be no peace when it is disturbed by the hum of traffic and even something so quiet as the clock.

 

Ultimately, you juxtapose ancient concepts (monarchies) with progressive ideas (elections), but you also reference Google, reinforcing to the reader that the narrator nevertheless exists in the modern world. Of course, when s/he sleeps, it's possible for her to dream ... but is this a dream? For me, it's kind of like the old meets the new, where everything changes, but nothing ever really does; the world is the same as it ever was.

 

Tony

Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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goldenlangur

Hi Tony,

 

What a wonderfully detailed review! Thank you so much for taking such trouble to give this an in-depth look. Yes, sleep remains elusive. Your reading here is brilliant:

 

tonyv wrote:

 

... is this a dream? For me, it's kind of like the old meets the new, where everything changes, but nothing ever really does; the world is the same as it ever was.

 

Tony

 

I'm very grateful for this.

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Aleksandra

Goldenlangur I must say I missed your voice. Always makes me pleasure when I read you.

 

Here you expressed something so magical and ironical too. I loved this sentence: " The sky bled tonight "

And the part about " Lark Ascending " sounds and works so well, and provoked me to google it too icon_biggrin.png is this what you mean -

If that is in this case I understand how this piece came.

 

Wonderful and interesting my friend and I can feel that this one is something new from you

 

Thank you for sharing.

 

Aleksandra

The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Hi Alexsandra,

 

Yes, indeed it is Vaughan William's sublime music and thank you for that link - a wonderful window to the landscape which inspired him!

 

You're so right - when the magic and peace of sleep eludes one, then it certainly becomes ironical and almost futile a yearning. I'm really pleased that you perceive something new here. Trying to work towards a shift from the old writing habits and themes.

 

How kind of you to express such support for my writing . May is an important ritual month for the family and I've been rather caught up with such issues.

 

 

With grateful thanks,

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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GL, your potpourri of images and sounds paint an irritation that prevents one from sleeping. And how you express a hope in the end playing on the word 'dream'.

"Words are not things, and yet they are not non-things either." - Ann Lauterbach

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Sleep (Prose Poem)

 

One face, two sides – the first, slovenly asleep, the other, wakeful and watching. Both are seemingly inert.

 

The sky bled tonight and the sun afraid of a 'wrongful arrest' slipped behind the ridge but the clouds' red entrails trailed the sun's 'footprints' in the west. The moon aghast, held her breath, summoned all her powers to silver the mess.

 

But all is not quiet. The clock ticks, tocks, cars moan, screech and carry on.

 

100 years of the monarchy – headlines of the past few weeks skid around and then a thought:

 

On our New Year's Day, elections in Pakistan! A new era?

 

Lark Ascending – is that a poem? A song? No, it's music! Who's the composer? Perhaps I could google.

 

Sleep, a dream.

 

goldenlangur

27.1.8

 

Though you've always had quite a fan of your poetry in me, for almost all you write is wonderful, deep, many layered, rich in culture and love for humanity. But also because somehow or the other I feel a certain connection and familiarity with most of the images and feelings/themes you express. This is one of the poems along with "Why" and the other (I forget the title -- Perhaps it was titled "sleep" too) in which you mentioned Socratic death (something on those lines) that I will remember. This is an awesome poem and somehow different from your usual work.

 

The duality and uneasy alertness of the first line running into the uncomfortable almost shocking beauty of the succeeding lines sets the stage for the reader. And even though there is a "wrongful arrest" -- injustice, the second most disgraceful act other than pride -- which has even affected nature, life moves on and a great sense of indifference cannot go unnoticed, at least for this reader. ‘Cars moan and screech’ but that is because they understand that world/time is indifferent and would not stop for them. Nobody cares. Clocks tick tock and they have to carry on.

 

Can there be freedom? (And we have to free ourselves from so many things). Would slavery ever be over? (And there are so many forms of slavery). Would history ever change or would change mean only a change of masters? Does a fresh morning await us after this appalling night?

 

There is a song and a dream....

 

We can only hope my friend.

 

Well you are not only hoping you are doing: You voice the doubts, fears and dreams of many a heart here my friend and point at the problems that we face. Hence fulfilling your duties as a poet.

 

Side note: Perhaps we, our cities and our world all are twofaced.

 

Also, I wonder if terms like ‘wrongful arrest’ and the other in quotation marks were taken from one of the headlines you mention in the following lines…. ?

 

Perhaps I am way off on my reading of your piece but your poem is splendid no matter what.

 

This poem makes me sad… quite sad.

 

Can’t thank you enough for sharing your poems with us.

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goldenlangur

Hello summayya,

 

What an amazingly astute and indeed sensitive reading you've given this rather humble piece of mine! I'm particularly grateful that you found how the "headlines" resonate in the physical scene at dusk. You're right, there's a pervading sense that we carry so much of the burden of history, - both good and negative - which in turn entails hostilities, loss of faith, betrayal. Here in this part of Asia, we live in a suspension between the new and the old and where we will go and how we arrive, are all uncertain. The "new" does not always signal good or constructive and yet when an idea's time has come, what can stop it?

 

Thus sleep and any attempt at solitude are overwhelmed by thoughts, disparate and conflicting and disquieting.

 

 

I'm both humbled and moved deeply that you find a kindred spirit in my writing efforts. Without such encouragement given so generously, can I just say, I would not be able to give voice to anything. So thank you so much for a rewarding review and your unstinting support.

 

 

With gratitude,

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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