Sleep Talking

My wife talks in her sleep. It rarely wakens me and never bothers me. Nonetheless, the other night I awoke not to her talking but rather to a couple lines of poetry floating in my head. I wish I could tell you that I am the type of person with the gusto and dedication to jump out from under the covers, snatch pen and paper and commit myself to the task of finishing the piece there in the wee hours of the morning.

But I’m not.

Rather, I’m artistically inclined to allow dabs of inspiration such as this one to marinade for a while, to sink in, take root and settle in my sub-conscious and conscious creative capacities.

Meaning, I just go back to sleep.

Nonetheless, the line did persist and a poem did evolve. Whether my patience and ability to let the work (and myself)  rest for a bit and not jump the gun, to to speak, worked or whether it appears I totally missed the bus on whatever brilliant inspiration I may or may not have had at that ungodly hour, well…that’s for you to decide.

Have at it:

Hurriedly she speaks

like the chatter of a mouse atop the hat of a chef

like Moses in his basket, floating down the river

when the world was young, was beautiful, threatening and outside

            there is cooking to be done, meals to be made

            a life to lead, people to save

but for now sleep comes easy and conversation is lite


So the baby does not cry for fear of discovery

and the words are jumbled together lest

what is spoken in dreams becomes a recipe for life

and the parting of the Red Sea be not a miracle

but a pathway to the conundrum of normality

© BTC 2014

Sunday Quotes: Famous

Since I alluded to this the other day, I figured I go ahead and share the entire poem. I encountered this for the first time in my freshman writing class and have been inspired by it since. Oh btdubs, don’t forget your mother.

The river is famous to the fish.
The loud voice is famous to silence,
which knew it would inherit the earth
before anybody said so.
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds
watching him from the birdhouse.
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.
The idea you carry close to your bosom
is famous to your bosom.
The boot is famous to the earth,
more famous than the dress shoe,
which is famous only to floors.
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.
I want to be famous to shuffling men
who smile while crossing streets,
sticky children in grocery lines,
famous as the one who smiled back.
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,
but because it never forgot what it could do.

-Famous; Naomi Shihab Nye