“Sleeping,” “Elfie and My Mug,” and “The Land II”

In Issue 78 by Malcolm Glass

Image
Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

Sleeping

I think I'm sleeping, night long, more than I think,

And days blur like leaves in a pitch-long fall,

while clocks run on with numbers that always blink,

then flicker backwards. I close my eyes and sink

to dreams, then wake, sure I haven't slept at all.

But I think I'm sleeping, night long, more than I think.

By morning, hands and numbers settle, with a wink,

to normal, then digits seem to hit a wall,

though clocks run on with numbers that always blink.

My dreams run backwards ending at the brink

of the beginning. I wake to songs with backfall,

but I think I'm sleeping, night long, more than I think.

My age reverses in a mirror, shrinks

into a flutter of calendar dates to stop all

clocks that run their numbers in blinks.

I fall awake to sleep the hours that synch

with insomnia so I do not dream at all.

but still I'm sleeping all night long, I think,

while clocks run on with numbers that always blink.

Elfie and My Mug

Elfie sets down a shard

of my broken coffee mug,

her fingers sticky with glue.

Doesn’t fit here, she says.

Nothing does. A piece 

is missing. I tell her not

to worry, but she wants

to set the universe

right again. I say, You

know about time. It doesn’t

rewind. She smiles. You’re

right. Even if I put it all

together again, the mug

would still be broken.

The Land II

Dreams of bells sift through

still grasses, wander past a fallen

gate and shards of roof tiles

half-buried in the broken

sod. A coven of crows gathers

along the bank of a brook,

dipping their beaks into dried

grass in search of a bone

to break into lightning, a snake

skin to charm into rivulets.

Empty faces, like paper masks,

float and waver against

the yellow sky. They drift

over and behind the blue

clouds, like phantom moons,

their lidless eyes staring.

Schools of minnows weave

their way through the faces,

through the solemn eyes,

pulling loose the threads

holding  captive an old

dream in the fabric of the sky.

The crows step out lightly

onto the shine of the still brook,

their quivering reflections

mirroring a nearly forgotten

dance. They nod and bow,

turn and counter-turn, calling

to each other their dusty words

for scarlet, bronze, and green.

About the Author

Malcolm Glass

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Malcolm Glass has been writing and publishing poems, stories, and plays for seventy years. His next book, "Her Infinite Variety," a triple-hybrid collection, will be released in 2024 by Finishing Line Press

Read more work by Malcolm Glass .