Saturday, February 20, 2010

guardians of your sleep

moon light by Kurt Thorson

Night Poem
~by Margaret Atwood

There is nothing to be afraid of,
it is only the wind
changing to the east, it is only
your father the thunder
your mother the rain

In this country of water
with its beige moon damp as a mushroom,
its drowned stumps and long birds
that swim, where the moss grows
on all sides of the trees
and your shadow is not your shadow
but your reflection,

your true parents disappear
when the curtain covers your door.
We are the others,
the ones from under the lake
who stand silently beside your bed
with our heads of darkness.
We have come to cover you
with red wool,
with our tears and distant whispers.

You rock in the rain's arms,
the chilly ark of your sleep,
while we wait, your night
father and mother,
with our cold hands and dead flashlight,
knowing we are only
the wavering shadows thrown
by one candle, in this echo
you will hear twenty years later.



distracted by shiny objects said...

Thanks, I needed this today. :>)

Rhiannon said...

I absolutely love this post..the lovely beautiful photo..and the poem. As I read the poem and looked at the photo, for some reason it made me think of the Goddess's of the underworld...the Lady of the lake,(who also is sometimes called Rhiannon in the mythology tale) and The Mist of Avalon, etc...Maybe my feeling on this is because of when darkness falls and sleep comes to us late in the night,we are somehow watched over or go "into" the "otherworld" or something of that nature..not sure..anyway enjoyed this immensely.

I also love the artwork (bottom of this post) of the woman with the wolf. I have always felt a lot of connection with women and the wolves. Partly due to the book "Women who runs with the Wolves" by Clarissa Pinkola Est'es...and also because of the Native American Indian womens connection with the wolves..and a lot of paintings I've seen with a Native American Woman with a wolf. I have a painting (not mine) I had posted on my blog years ago of a Native American Indian woman looking down into her reflection in the water...but her reflection was of a young wolf instead...I'm sure you get the meaning.

Thank you for this lovely post Lydia. Hope your enjoying the warmer days of late..spring is slowly on it's way!



Phivos Nicolaides said...

Another beautiful poem full of feelings and emotions.

Lydia said...

distracted~ We must have been in a similar space...or frame of mind. :)

Rhi~ The poem really spoke to me to, and when I saw the photograph I thought I bet Margaret Atwood might think this got to the heart of her poem, at least in some ways...
I enjoy always your expressions of myth, mysticism, and Native American truth.

Phivos~ The poem impressed you as it did me.

Jennifer said...

Read this last night and am getting back to it this morning . . .

I love the idea of the proper placement of the courthouse, far from distractions natural or manmade. Clearly, our ideas of what it takes to make courtly decisions have changed. And I also love the pictures of you and your friend. I definitely see the present-day you in your photograph and the story behind the bandage (which you remember so well) is fun. Plus the renewal of old friendships always makes me feel good.

I hope you have a lovely Sunday.

kj said...

stunningly beautiful, lydia. the last lines are hauntingly so.

you know i am losing a dear friend to cancer. i feel like you posted this poem just for me.

Lydia said...

Jennifer~ You are so sweet to return to my post. I'm glad it was fun for you. And you're right, giving thought to the placement of a courthouse is impressive!

kj~ Dear friend, I did think specifically of you and the others who have posted candles at their blogs during this vigil for Renee. I am so glad that it brought a bit of comfort. xo

Erin Davis said...

I had not read this one before and am still shivering with wonder. Thank you for sharing it!

Jennifer said...

Yes, I came back and read everything, and then commented on the wrong post! Next time: wait until a half hour after exercising to comment.

And this is a lovely poem.

Your ditsy friend,


Flor Larios Art said...

Great poem!
I found you thru Renee's blog... I read your profile and I found it brilliant and inspiring!

Nancy said...

Lovely. It reminds me of Oregon... where the moss grows on all sides of the trees...

Lydia said...

Erin~ ...shivering with wonder. Thank YOU for writing the phrase that describes how the poem affected me also.

Jennifer~ Good girl for exercising.
I think it's adorable that you called yourself my ditsy friend because "ditsy" is not a word I would necessarily use to describe you ("friend" is)!

Flor Larios Art~ O, the widening circle of friends because Renee is among us...
I so appreciate your comments about my profile and to have you follow Writerquake. :)

Nancy~ Yes, there is certainly that elemental nature the coastal range and in glorious places like Opal Creek.
The swans also remind me of Lake Manzanita on the University of Nevada Reno campus.

the watercats said...

Such a gorgeous poem, the language is delicious.
"beige moon damp as a mushroom".. really gorgeous, cheers!

M Riyadh Sharif said...

Nice poem. So many great words. "your shadow is not your shadow
but your reflection," Liked it!

Lydia said...

the watercats~ O, I'm glad it touched you that way!

Riyadh~ Happy to have you here, and happy, too, that you enjoyed this post.



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