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Wednesday, 10 April 2013

To the Sound of Breaking Glass...


This is the moment
that comes occasionally
or not at all:
the dream
fading into reality,
lost in the borderland
between full sleep and wakefulness.
With eyes still sleeping soundly
the ears are wide awake.

One foot in nightmare, still I stand
and listen to my other land.


The mind is stretched between the two.
The dream runs on,
a silent film,
no longer silently.
The soundtrack comes from somewhere else:
the street outside
where two men argue about... about...
but now drowned out
by children playing,
the bin men on their rounds,
the clatter of the bins,
the sound of breaking glass...

all this laid over... what?
A London bus,
the upper deck,
A Buddhist monk
immolates himself in front of me.
His sacrifice.
Protest for freedom.
Immersed in flames
he disappears from view.
A horse jumps through the flames.

Silly man, silly man, out you go!
sing the children in the street below
to further sounds of breaking glass.
Surreal. How could they know?
The Buddhist figures in my world, not theirs.
Innocence and artfulness walk hand-in-hand.

The couplet (lines 10 and 11) though in italics is not a quote, but an allusion to a Poem of similar title by Edwin Muir. You can read it here

12 comments:

Elephant's Child said...

That period when we are neither asleep nor awake is often such a frightening time. I wonder why it is almost always the nightmares that hang onto us that way?

aprille said...

Well, you do it again and again. Fabulous discription of that state.
Sounds - or are they nauseous noises, are haunting me too.

Leovi said...

Yes, great poem, I like the strength of the Buddhist monk poetic figure in this poem interesting.

Mary said...

"Innocence and artfulness walk hand in hand." I like it.

Your poem captures well that time just before waking....

Brian Miller said...

wow....surreal as are most dreams...that image of the monk...have seen it...and it is def one that sticks with you...love the focus on sound there in the middle as well...

Jinksy said...

How well you captured the betwix and between moment of waking. :)

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes Dave I know that Edwin Muir poem.
It is a strange world indeed that few moments between waking and sleeping - the mind plays funny tricks.

Carl said...

exactly what that state between dream and wake feels like. So sharp and soft at the same time time. The outer world driving into and then driving off the dream state.

Cloudia said...

We become such palimpsests!


Aloha

Other Mary said...

Such a commonplace thing, and you rendering makes it special. That moment...between dream and waking you've recreated so well. And with that crazy logic of dreams. Superb Dave.

Ygraine said...

I love that mysterious time when we can glimpse more than one World at a time - the more unpleasant visions aside, of course!
A great deal of my inspiration originates from this state between sleeping and waking, and your depiction of it here is truly amazing...so ALIVE.
The Buddhist monk really stands out...could you possibly have a past-life connection here?

Incredibly fascinating write, Dave.
I adore this! )

Dave King said...

Elephant's Child
Yes, it does seem to be so, maybe they are the most vivid, or the most elemental.

aprille
what I find so fascinating is the way the ears wake up before the eyes. They do say that when someone is in a coma they can often hear what is being said, though all the other channels are closed down.

Leovi
Thanks Leovi. Good to get your take on it.

Mary
Thanks so much for your thoughts - always welcome.

Brian
Much thanks. Strange thing: it often occurs to me that the mix is surreal, even whils I am asleep/awake experiencing it.

Jinksy
Thanks Jinksy. It's a difficult moment to get across, even though I guess we have all experienced it.

The Weaver of Grass
A wonderful poem. At one time I committed it to memory. Pretty sure I couldn't reproduce it all now, though.

Carl
Excellently put! Wish I'd thought of it, but thanks!

Cloudia
Another excellent analogy. Thanks very much for.

Other Mary
Yes crazy logic fits it very well, I think. Thanks for the kind words.

Ygraine
Wow! There's a suggestion that hadn't occurred to me! What if...? As always, great to get your thoughts on it. Thank you so much.