Dreams at Dawn
A smoky saxophone
becomes a cluster of stars, each note
straying to spend the night alone.
The flesh of shoulder and cheek
has vanished in the grip of midnight,
reappearing in the meadow behind the barn
where ducks in the pond float
with heads tucked in iridescent feathers.
Pallor slips through slatted blinds,
breathing darkness into its ribs,
exhaling through the windowed mouth
of mattresses and sighs. Legs splay
froglike in linened sleep, jump
as the alarm clock, red-eyed, bleats
reality to a numbed arm behind a head.
This is how day enters night
as a wave inundates a beach –
eyes puffy with the grief
of unremembered joy
open lid and lash
to the paisley print of birdsong.
The day becomes pragmatic,
leaving mystery and muslin behind.
Teeth and tongue rejoin the body,
replacing hedgehogs, elves, gaslights, jazz
and the grey horse of the ragbone man
carrying the dark in a cartful of scraps.
To see photographs Shanta Acharya plus Duncan
Forbes, Peter Phillips and Andrea Witzke Slot
reading at the launch of Aumen 87, please
go to ‘news’.