A Dreaming Week

Not tonight, I’m dreaming
in the heart of the honeyed dark
in a boat of a bed in the attic room
in a house on the edge of the park
where the wind in the big old trees
creaks like an ark.

Not tomorrow, I’m dreaming
till dusk turns into dawn – dust, must
most, moot, moon, mown, down –
with my hand on an open unread book,
a bird that’s never flown…distantly
the birdsong of the telephone

Not the following evening, I’m dreaming
in the monocle of the moon,
a sleeping S on the page of a bed
in the tome of a dim room, the rain
on the roof, rhyming there
like the typed words of a poem.

Not the night after that, I’m dreaming
till the stars are blue in the face
printing the news of their old light
with the ink of space,
yards and years of black silk night
to cover my sleeping face.

Not the next evening, I’m dreaming
in the crook of midnight’s arm
like a lover held by another
safe from harm, like a child
stilled by a mother, soft and warm,
twelve golden faraway bells for a charm.

Not that night either, I’m dreaming
till the tides have come and gone
sighing all over the frowning sand,
the whale’s lonely song
scored on wave after wave of water
all the wet night long.

Not the last evening, I’m dreaming
under the stuttering clock,
under the covers, under closed eyes,
all colours fading to black,
the last of daylight hurrying
for a date with the glamorous dark.

–Carol Ann Duffy

This is from Carol Ann Duffy’s 2002 volume, Feminine Gospels.

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