Saturday, 1 November 2014

Riverside Dreams

For three nights in succession the mirror of sleep has been broken. 
The dreams and reflections it reveals shattered.

No reason for it
as far as I can tell.

No cats shadowing the windows,
no crow-bar burglars
prising the doors.
No ghosts creeping my stairs.
No skeletons rattling the latches
or dreams turning sour.

The moon started it but that’s all over now.

Two o’clock and I wake in blue light
to find sleep has packed her bags and gone.

I take a daily walk by the river than runs through the city park. There are some fine trees and the grass rises and falls in pleasing shapes. The path is strewn with yellow leaves. The willows and chestnuts drape the walkway and brush my shoulder, head and face.

Polished conkers lying on the path. In homage to the inner child I fill my coat pockets with them.

They are still there now wrinkling like someone who has stayed too long in the bath.

My favourite bench is the one closest to the water.

But today I can’t sit here.

An old man sits on the graffiti: head slumped as he resists or welcomes an afternoon sleep, his long white beard flowing down into his grey raincoat. Tufts of white hair on his head. The soles of his boots laugh in the breeze as a tinny voice comes out of an old transistor radio resting on the bag by his side.

A voice that lulls him into riverside dreams.

In the shards of the mirror
past and future


  1. Jonathan...this is absolutely beautiful! I felt as if I were by your side on this stroll through the blue light of the night~


    1. Thank you Jan. I am glad that you were with me. Hope you had a good Halloween.

  2. I find it almost impossible to resist fallen conkers too. A couple of decades ago I was in Canada on a student exchange programme. Over there no one seemed to know anything about conkers - it felt really strange having such an unshared childhood memory

  3. Well thank goodness we could share this one. Thanks Kim.



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