Vespertine

September 29, 2018

Dear night: It was so warm
under you that I offered
but you refused
to endure. You won’t remember
me. (We danced. I was the one
in the dark. I was wearing
this face.) In daylight, I’m an acre of empty
desert, anyway. A spent white flower. A pale
honey scent wilted away.
And I’m having this dream:
I am mourned by millions.
I died young and I was so, so pretty.

Camille Rankine,

Night on the Island

September 8, 2018

I have slept with you
All night long while
The dark earth spins
With the living and the dead,
And on waking suddenly
In the midst of the shadow
My arm encircled your waist.
Neither night nor sleep
Could separate us.

I have slept with you
And on waking, your mouth,
Come from your dream,
Gave me the taste of earth,
Of sea water, of seaweed,
Of the depths of your life,
And I received your kiss
Moistened by the dawn
As if it came to me
From the sea that surrounds us.

Pablo Neruda

I am the unknown whispers of the dark hallways I tread, The darkness, how it disintegrates into a deeper one, leaving the world shallower, How many ghosts breathe inside my skin, how pale my veins beat, I have no idea if I can taste mornings anymore, as if I have been walking in an everlasting night.

Channing M
The Monochrome of Darkness

lay naked

August 18, 2018

But then she had always preferred the night to the day. Moonlight fell directly over her bed in the summer. She lay naked in it for hours before falling asleep, wondering what its rays would do to her skin, her hair, her eyes, and then deeper, to her feelings.

Anaïs Nin
A Spy In The House Of Love

Lift

August 4, 2018

To stand with mind akimbo where the wind riffles the ridge. Slow, slow jazz: it must begin before the instrument with bones dreaming themselves hollow and the dusk rising in them like a sloth ascending. Moon, night after night rehearsing shades of pause and spill, sifting into reed beds, silvering the fine hairs on your arms, making rhythm out of light and nothing, making months. What have I ever made of life or it of me, all I ever asked for was to be remembered constantly by everything I ever touched.

Don Mckay
From: Lift
Camber: Selected Poems (McClelland & Stewart Ltd, 2004)

Then I can breathe

July 28, 2018

I like the dark part of the night, after midnight and before four-thirty, when it’s hollow, when ceilings are harder and farther away. Then I can breathe, and can think while others are sleeping, in a way can stop time, can have it so – this has always been my dream – so that while everyone else is frozen, I can work busily about them, doing whatever it is that needs to be done, like the elves who make the shoes while children sleep.

Dave Eggers
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

Voices

April 12, 2018

Ideal voices and beloved
of those who have died, or of those
who are lost to us like the dead.

Sometimes, within our dreams, they speak;
sometimes the mind can hear them in our thoughts.

And with their sound for an instant return
sounds from the early poetry of our life –
like music in the night, faraway, that fades.

C P Cavafy
Trans. Anthony Hirst

lost boundaries

March 20, 2018

When I looked up through the web of trees, the night fell over me, and for a moment I lost my boundaries, feeling like the sky was my own skin and the moon was my heart beating up there in the dark.

Sue Monk Kidd
The Secret Life of Bees

dreams

February 8, 2018

I desired always to stretch the night and fill it fuller and fuller with dreams.

Virginia Woolf
The Waves

tell me of night

October 10, 2017

In the evening, when everything is tired and quiet, I sit with Walt Whitman by the rose beds and listen to what that lonely and beautiful spirit has to tell me of night, sleep, death, and the stars. This dusky, silent hour is his; and this is the time when I can best hear the beatings of that most tender and generous heart.

Elizabeth von Arnim
The Solitary Summer