Near 3:00 a.m.
the call comes
without fail when
somnolence limps

through darkness
down the hall
and back to bed.

Then elegantly
curling, hanging
on the wisps of drowse
the wordings come

perfect wordings
for the saying of what
never has been said.

Must remember this
a weary whisper
tells the feathers
of the comforter

but when the morning
comes, it is as if
the wordings never were.

42 responses »

  1. Hi Cynthia, lovely wordings! You nailed it! It seems as if words come to us at night, then slip away at dawn, before we can remember them. πŸ™‚ x

    • Hi Ina, This probably happens to most people who work with words. There was a time when I thought it would be a good idea to leave a small notepad and pencil beside my bed so I could jot down any “good ideas” that occurred in the night. That didn’t work very well…in the morning I couldn’t read my own writing! πŸ™‚ x

  2. Oh this poem was me last night Cynthia! Just love the ‘elegantly curling’. Here’s to a peaceful night tonight. You never disappoint and I always get that frisson of excitement when I see a new post from you in my inbox.

    By the way, I am thoroughly enjoying your book. And I now have Sonos here which is a sound system I can operate from my iPad so my husband John is going to ‘rip’ (???) the CD onto Sonos, and all I have to do is sit here and click and I will hear a chosen poem πŸ˜„

    • So glad you’re enjoying the book, Chris, and wow! the technology you have! As you may have noticed, I did not record every poem in the book….some seemed too short, others were such that I still can’t manage the composure to read aloud publicly. Also, the CD had a limit of minutes it would take. I did include a list, though, of most of the readings on the disk.
      Enjoy! πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve had those moments, too. I often sleep with a pen and paper nearby, especially on nights when I sense the silent knocking of words…yet unanswered…until later, early morning. They don’t always amount to anything, however.

    • Isn’t it funny how that works? I tried the pen and paper nearby, but it yielded mostly unintelligibility. I like your “silent knocking of words”….that does seem just what it’s like when a poem wants to be….Thank you, Anna!

  4. lovely Cynthia. I am no poet as you know but I do get artistic ideas whilst sleeping. sometimes if I meditate I can bring my resting thoughts into the waking present. Only sometimes…

  5. Then from whence come all the wonderful things that do get written down ?
    I have often read, it seems, that poets (or genuine writers, of which I am DEFINITELY not one) should put pencil and paper on bedside table …
    But I don’t think this would work: for if you were sufficiently awake to record the wordings, you would remember them, anyway …
    No matter: just as long as they spring and do not all fall back, unheeded …

    • Eh bein, ma chΓ¨re, I have tried that bedside paper and pencil, and you are right, it doesn’t work. What appears there in the morning might as well be in a foreign tongue…and I am not the accomplished polyglot that you are!

  6. Cynthia, my dear friend, it is as if you had been peeping through my chambre window… πŸ˜‰ I understand all to well and actually have it in some recent writing (not blog).

  7. Oh, the ephemeral nature of brilliant dissertations made when one half of the mind escapes for some undignified tryst in that bit of greenery near the pond (you know the one) and the other lobe, the sensible one, in a stupor induced by long hours of brooding, dozes off into a the startling vistas of numbness.

    • Always that horrible choice between sense and sensibility….but speaking of brain lobes, what about the hippocampus? (and I don’t refer, here, to that institution for higher learning devoted to sub-Saharan, even-toed ungulates) Isn’t it supposed to be remembering things for us? Apparently it’s a little beast with a mind of its own…

  8. Perfect Cynthia. I know what 3:00am feels like, or how about 2:00 or 1:00, or 4:00 – some nights sleep rarely comes. But going back to the point, there are some nights when dream about the most brilliant artistic composition and finished piece that I must remember for when I get back into the studio – ha, rarely have those pieces come alive again. And, oh the colors are so brilliant and fantastic . . .

    • Don’t worry, Mary, those brilliant and fantastic colors are waiting in “the little gray cells” ready to appear in your lovely work when you least expect it. Meanwhile, I wish you a very good night’s sleep! πŸ™‚

    • Good morning,, Mister Frank. You’re probably not the only one that happens to. Maybe you could invent some rubbery/plastiky kind of tablet and stylus that adheres to the shower wall and works indelibly under water….although, there’s probably already some underwater recording thingy out there that could take dictation in the shower. The possibilities are endless…happy. monday!

  9. I agree with both poem and commentary, for only you, Cynthia, would have the perception and talent to memorialize those moments when insomnia grants us beautiful words only to smother them in restless sleep. Like many of your followers I nod and say ‘been there, done that!’ A few years back, actually some time ago, I commuted 250 miles once a week. If I didn’t listen to the radio, or books on tape, the mindless drive gave me some oddly creative thoughts – some useable and many quite wacky. Someone told me that it was a left brain right brain phenomena. You have all your brain in tune and I thank you for this poem.

    • Wow! A 250 mile commute! I think I would have succumbed to what they call highway hypnosis or turnpike trance….fertile ground for wacky ideas. I used to experience something like that on long drives alone, at night, to my parent’s home in Maine. My car had no tape player and there was no radio reception in the sticks. I used to sing a lot, and pray I would not meet up with a bull moose, headlights to antlers. The human brain is an amazing and mysterious thing, isn’t it? Thank you for your very kind comment, as always, Jane.

  10. So, I’m not the only one who gets this often – I’m so glad to hear that!! πŸ™‚ I have heard of writers of poetry having a notepad or using a recording app on their phone to quickly save those brilliant words and poetic phrases that seem to only visit at night. I have done it myself – written down what thoughts came. Sometimes it was well worth the effort of saving it, but other times it looked like words of a drunk (and I never drink alcohol). Our minds do sometimes come up with some amazing ideas in half sleep mode. But other times the brilliance turns out to be some kind of snoozy illusion, where everything in the world is so much more amazing. Or maybe I’m the only one who gets the grand sleepy delusions?!

    • You’re probably right, Suzy…we think those are brilliant delusions but they may be just as well forgotten. I had the same experience with the notepad…pretty much recorded gibberish. Maybe we should just hope for a good sleep and a sweet, innocuous, disappearing dream to take us into good day! Thanks for stopping by…:-)

  11. Cynthia, that happens to me ALL THE TIME! And I think, surely I’ll remember such eloquent lines (haha!) in the morning – but alas, they’re gone. I sometimes get up and write them down, but who wants to get out of bed when you’re so relaxed and sleep is hard to come by? Love how you put this into poetic words. Write on!

  12. Oh yes! This happens to me. Maybe serious writers should keep a pencil and paper by the bed. I think that time liminal time between waking and sleeping is when the conscious mind is most open to the insights from the unconscious.
    On the other hand, if I have had two glasses of wine, I always think what I wrote was important. But I know now that when I sober up, I will think it is drivel. All that in vinos veritas stuff is phooey for me.
    As usual this is brilliantly written~

    • You are so right, Cindy! Since I do always write by hand, with a pen initially, (yikes!) being among those aged, outdated persons who do so, and only when I am ready for prime time, and other people’s opinions, willing to commit to the typed word able to “share”……it is an interesting phenomenon, I’ve discovered, that we feel we become quite profound under the veritas of vino, and then we wake up and we can’t read our own writing!…

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