Thursday, December 01, 2016

Not asleep, not dreaming. . .

It was almost too late for the Daily Walk! 
Coming home, the sky was sunset-tinged 
at the bottom edge only.
One nice thing about an autumn twilight 
is the way it reveals
the shapes of the leafless trees 
and the tall conifers.
A few of the neighborhood houses 
have Christmas lighting
on this, the first day of December.


    Has my heart gone to sleep?
Have the beehives of my dreams
stopped working the waterwheel
of the mind run dry,
scoops turning empty
only shadow inside?
    No, my heart is not asleep.
It is awake, wide awake.
Not asleep, not dreaming---
its eyes are opened wide
watching distant signals, listening
on the rim of the vast silence.

Antonio Machado      (1875-1939)

Selected Poems; translated by Alan S. Trueblood,
Harvard University Press, 1982. page 93.


Your task: write a poem in 12 lines. The first six lines
ask a question, illustrated by creating a metaphor 
which expands and illustrates the question. 
Answer the question in the final six lines, trying 
to open the space of the poem much wider.  jhh

Note: I chose this poem for my nephew, 
the beekeeper.

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