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Sestina for Insomnia


Intruding through the pane, the neighbour’s floodlights
throw beams through the fig tree
flinging between half drawn curtains
patterns like some Japanese wood-cut
a panel on the dark wall
in a slab of yellow.

Pittosporum tree forms a face in a restless mind
eyes of street lights
winking through eye sockets of branches…
the roof edge registering the passage
of a rising moon, casting leaf patterns on my face,
lifting up and out of sight taking its beams with it.

Problems roll around arrange and
rearrange themselves endlessly
slide away and sneak back to
another mind-cycle of anxieties.
Pad from bed on bare feet… watch from a silent window
the neighbour’s cat stalk past on noiseless paws.

Observe the moon move around the house
Walk in imagination, through sharp shadows of the citrus grove
track with tired eyes, the constellations slide across
and down the sky,
past the kitchen window
to disappear under the earth.

No wind moves the trees in the quiet heart-beat of
a setting night, nor causes strands of leaves to fibrillate…
Tired full moon, setting behind the oak tree
creates another wood-cut
on the kitchen floor as the oak leaves inhale
and exhale into a cloudless pre-dawn.

White-eyes socializing in the grey air
as the garden lightens
seek tasty moving things…
or do they only feed
on nectar? Or seeds?
Maybe sleep will come now that the birds are out of bed?


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