The Sound of Midnight

Image: Midnight Moon ~ Kalilo

A ticking clock
The only sound
Filling the eerie darkness

The night sky sparkles:
The light of a thousand stars,
Shining forever

Lying in silence
Memories long forgotten
Playing on my mind

Another restless night
Counting sheep
Seeing your face:
Sleep will not come

Rain, falling slowly,
Running down my window pane
Like tears from heaven

A ray of moonlight
Falling across my pillow:
Reminds me of you

Tossing and turning
In an empty bed:
Will I always be

The sound of silence:
A tap’s steady drip
Slowly driving me

Thinking about God
In the middle of the night:
I have no answers

Writer’s block
Bane of my very existence:
The blank page
Never lies

Staring at shadows
Flickering on the wall:
My nightmares
Made real

An orange sunrise
Greeted by a sparrow’s song:
A new day begins

Another morning
Life rising with the new sun:
Finally at rest

Licenced under a Creative Commons Licence

I’ve been working on this poem for quite a while now. Originally I started it back in September as a different kind of poem, more of a traditional sonnet, but I just couldn’t get it to work. I went back to it about a month ago and turned it into this instead.

I’ve had insomnia for a couple of years now and that’s what originally inspired the poem. Quite often I’m still awake around sunrise or later and one of the things I often think about while I’m awake is how the night seems to have a life of its own. The softest sounds – a ticking clock, a dripping tap, the wind rattling the windows – suddenly sound so loud and the shadows play tricks on your mind. There’s something beautiful about the stillness of the night as well though and that’s what I wanted to try to capture, that feeling of just… listening.

It’s not really meant to be a poem as much as a collection of thoughts and feelings and reading it now I’m quite happy with how it turned out. It’s different to the poem I set out to write but I think it works quite well as haiku in the end… the brevity suits it and I like that it’s a little more open than some of my other poetry as well.

I hope you enjoyed it. I’m through the worst of my writer’s block now as well so I should be starting to post more regularly again. I’ll have a Christmas post up tomorrow. — CJ.

9 thoughts on “The Sound of Midnight

  1. Loved it! You are right that it isn’t a poem per se, rather a collection/collage of thoughts circling your mind. Keep up the good work going! My best wishes are always with you, mate!

    P.S. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 🙂

  2. I am thrilled that you are back to work. It seems we all have absences in our expressive work but fortunately we crawl back out of the hole, refreshed, vibrant and colorful with imagery. It is like a dreaded sleep falls over us and separate from desire we are paralyzed and stifled in our abilities and talents. I liked your piece and its collage form.

  3. Thanks Nipun! I’m glad you enjoyed it. I guess what I was trying to do was a kind of free verse haiku, if that makes sense. I wasn’t that concerned with the structure of the poem as much as capturing the sensation of sleeplessness and like you said, it’s really more a collection of thoughts and feelings… looking at it that way I’m quite happy with it and it’s good to be back writing again. Should be getting back to my other works soon too.

    Happy Holidays to you too, Nipun! My best wishes for a wonderful 2011. 😉

    — — —

    Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by. And thank you so much for the kind words! I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. It was a challenge to write but I’m really happy with how it turned out in the end. I enjoy writing haiku, particularly getting them to flow together like in this poem… they’re so expressive and one of my favourite forms of poetry.

    Thanks again for stopping by and sharing your thoughts; I really appreciate it. I’ll have a good look at your blog when I have a few minutes as well. Happy Holidays!

  4. Thanks, Deb! It’s good to be back writing properly. You’re right, all creative people seem to go through periods where our creativity just desserts us. For me it’s usually a sign that something’s not quite right with what I’m working on… I think that’s what writer’s block is really, the subconscious telling us we need to approach something a different way. It worked for me… when I came back, everything just seemed to work. It was almost like a light bulb went off in my head and everything was just so much clearer. I wish I could say that happened every time but at least it did this time!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the poem. It’s a bit different to most of my work but I think it came out quite well in the end. I still hope to finish the original version one day as well.

    Happy Holidays, Deb, and best wishes for a wonderful 2011. 😉


    Thanks Kay! I’m so glad you enjoyed it! It’s great to be back writing again… I never feel quite right when I’m not writing. I’ve got a few other projects I’ll be getting back to over the next week or so as well which I’m looking forward to.

    Merry Christmas to you and your family. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and all the best for a peaceful and happy New Year. 😉

  5. There is no such thing as Writer’s Block. Every day–EVERY SINGLE DAY–you go and sit down in a chair and sometimes it’s crap and most of the time it’s going to be crap but you keep doing that until a diamond emerges. That’s what I’ve learned while being in a Creative Writing program with some of South Carolina’s best writers and poets. I’m passing this on to you.

  6. DaShawn Mosley – Good advice. I’ve been writing for over a decade now and have done a few courses myself and I know there are always hard days; one of the main parts of writing is finding a way through those days, to the beauty hidden beneath.

    For me though writer’s block is a little different to that; I see writer’s block, real writer’s block, the kind where you don’t even know where to begin, as a sign that something about the writing itself isn’t working and you need to look at it in a different way. I think we all feel that at some stage and that’s the kind of writer’s block I’ve been experiencing lately, where it sucks at your soul and makes you doubt everything you’ve ever written. But I think I’ve finally started to move through it at last… I feel like I know what I need to do now and I’m happy to be writing again.

    I think having the right support helps as well. I guess that’s one of the good things about living in the internet age, being able to connect with other writers who know what you’re going through… knowing you’re not alone really helps sometimes. I know it has me.

    Anyway thanks for stopping by; I appreciate it, and good luck with your writing.

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