Tuesday, May 10, 2011


When I tuck in for the night.
I can’t fall into sleep
without my ankles crossed,
feet clenched like field birds:
hidden tense, twitching
under a grass blanket;
ready to burst forth to
anywhere but here.

At the other end of
my twisted rope of spine,
there sits a mind
just as knotted,
just as tense and twitchy,
waiting for something to trigger
its flight into an unknown place:
a hoped-for dream.

That escape never comes.
It's always the same snarled darkness
until the alarm kicks us loose--
flushes us from cover like
a spaniel raising a covey of quail--
into another day of blind flight,
toward another night of


  1. Well, I'm hoping that you get a good old back rub from somewhere! I think that lack of sleep and being tense at night is one of the writers curses, muses seem to like whispering when the brain should be resting. Really liked the image of "knot dreaming" Joe, it's exactly what it feels like laying there with all those thoughts wading about!

  2. Damn. Your play on words is both lucid and harrowing and can take many meanings. Interesting how the rope is the spine—among many instances of natural imagery revealing suffering and hoped-for relief.

  3. wow. intense little sleep you get all tensed up...ugh on the alarm on those nights...nice one shot

  4. we've all been there you put it marvellously really enjoyed this was mentally willing you to sleep ....thank you

  5. Nice play on "knot". I used to dream about them when I was in my Macrame phase. I understand about tension too and the desire for flight in dreams. Well constructed and well said here. Very enjoyable piece. Thank you, Gay

  6. Nice play ....escape ...will yourself to sleep...nice one shot!

  7. Try some Nyquil - you'll dream alright!

    Nice One Shot, Joseph! :)

  8. hmmm - can feel the tension in this...the dreams of escape..i always wonder what it is that binds us..sometimes it's us.. don't you think..

  9. knot dreaming...clever.

    the bird mataphor is really nicely done.

  10. Direct, yet finely composed with clean clear lines and metaphors. Fine poem. I had a partner once who hated me to sleep with my ankles crossed--drove him nuts for some reason, but it was the only way I could sleep at the time--and (yes, it was all of that--tension/ugly mental macrame--as expressed in your piece.)

  11. oh, that ending was brilliant. i was with you through the whole piece, and i felt that despair in tedium. nicely done.

  12. Oh yes, I have nights like that-- the knot so tight turning and turning....and the blind new day...that it as lori states...truly despair...bkm

  13. You carried forth a true visual with your words, I even found myself trying to twist and loosen my back ;) ~ "Another night of knot-dreaming" fantastic end! I really enjoyed this piece ~ Rose