Monday, September 05, 2011

how sleep can be defined in sestina

Sleep? What is sleep but a still moment of escape,
a practice better suspended in litmus clouds,
or cumulus, or cumulonimbus, or stratus in layers
levitating like sheets of linen above closed eyes,
where light could sift through their folds and head
to corners and creases and places night holds.

Sleep! The epilogue that the waking eye holds!
Defined by flows and circles, shapes that escape
conventions of space, all forms of sleep head
to where they are contentedly in a blur: clouds.
This has a reason: spires and streets tire the eyes,
And glass buildings split-slice bodies in thin layers.

Question: Does one need two mirrors to face layers
upon layers of the self, wherein a hand holds
the multiplicity of sameness, gripping the eyes
with images so grand no marvel could escape
the practical lips? No, what are needed are clouds,
real but invisible to touch. Like thoughts in the head.

Some say sleep does not appoint dream as the head,
the principal in every meditation, since it layers
itself with elucidations on living. They say it clouds
logic, lifebuoy of occasional foolishness. Yes, it holds
some truth: Dreams give the wrong reason to escape.
They trick people not to look with their own eyes.

Question: So why trouble on things not seen with the eyes?
Response: Answers are buried beneath the head.
Question: But why trouble on intricate plans of escape
to dreamscapes when most truth lies in layers
of falsehood, in patterns? Response: the sleeper holds
too much weight he wishes to rest on the ninth set of clouds.

Sleep comes not only at night; it heralds the clouds
as day approaches, like one morning a man sees them, eyes
them skimming the sun over the skyline, in bed that holds
him, cradles him in the next hours ,where his head
rests on layers of blanket, of blankets in layers.
He closes his eyes, defines sleep: There will be no escape.

But nothing holds certainty as beautifully as sleep, to escape
with eyes briefly in peace, to see between the layers
of random thoughts where clouds could set sail in the head.

[ a revision of an attempt last year ]

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