I went to bed early one evening, overcome by fatigue, stress, over-stimulation, and worry. But I could not sleep for all the ambient sounds that my ears so perfectly picked out. Instead of sleeping, I scrawled out this poem. Was it really sleep that I needed? Or did I need the ability in the moment to find joy and wonder in all that surrounded me? Did the ear plugs help or hinder my state of being? Let me know what you think.
Bulbous beetle sees
my nightstand light
and bounces his exoskeleton
against the vertical trampoline
of the window screen,
bounces three times,
his lace wings rasping like
sheets of stiff cellophane;
he can’t enter into my room
to reach the light he longs for,
and we both are the better for it.
Incorporeal sounds sail through—
a filly whinnying over his weaning,
a puppy straining and yapping
at her collar and leash,
our cat defending her kittens
against the neighbor’s surly tom,
children screaming delightedly
as they run at night in the grass,
only to bicker over turns
on the round trampoline—
they all drift in
to settle upon me
like a New England Bible
on a dying man’s chest.
Orange plugs twisted into my ears
dull it all, stop even
the crooning of the crickets
and the breeze’s inviting whisper.