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WAKING FOR THE WATCHGUARD

The trees, uprooted from the soil
Topple toward the moon.
I make my running
Through miles of vertigo.
Earth grapples each footfall
Which cuts away clean
To the next landfall -

Within sleep, the heart's drum
Slows to winter's rhythm.
A door creaks,
And the watchguard's query
Fingers apart the eyelids,
And the head shakes away blackberries,
Seagulls, sun, beachsand -
All the paraphanalia of irrelevant dreams.
Muscles slide barefoot to the landing.

The masks of night peer from the cobwebs.
A Dis-world waits
At the bottom of the staircase.
The cobra's hood
Coils in the shadows.
Descending, the floorboards creak,
To remind one.

The door is closed.
The windows are closed.
The locks are closed.
Outside, a neon sign
Hangs in the night.
The cat, lynx-eyed Egypt,
Slides past my feet.

Copyright © 1978, 2004 Hugh Cook

Picture of front cover of ARC OF LIGHT poetry collection by Hugh Cook.

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