I have a sleep disorder that – compounded currently by the side effects of medication – ensures that each and every night is fragmented into a sort of archipelago of the  5 stages of slumber varying from just stages 1 and 2 up to the full cycle, including REM. In between these sequences is inserted from time to time long periods of insomnia. Living as we do in relative rural isolation, this means that the sometimes comforting social sounds of nocturnal traffic, arrivals and departures and even the late-night carolling of a friendly drunk are denied us. Randy cats, foraging foxes and the haunted crooning of the barn owl only serve to underpin the sense of utter isolation and exposure that can be the principle characteristics of insomnia. This poem describes a joyful exception to that dilemma.

Nighttime Geese Clouds Moonlight Lake Flying Moon Tree 3d Wallpaper


Unable to sleep, I sit before
the heartless brilliance of the screen
with the real-world darkness

hovering, fearful but persistent,
at my back. It seems as if time
has packed her bags and left

for the coast and then beyond.
I take off my glasses, knuckle away
the mess of my tears. And then,

like importunate drunks through
a suddenly opened door, the geese
are overhead. Some crass dispute

as to the whereabouts of water
in the impossible night, their voices
skronking inside a collision of

cranking necks and wings. As they
tumble through the unseen clouds,
I laugh out loud and love them all

for their unconsidered vandalism,
neither thought nor theory troubling
the palate of their need.


About Dick Jones

I'm a post-retirement Drama teacher, currently working part-time. I have a grown-up son and daughter, three grandchildren and three young children from my second marriage. I write - principally poetry but prose too, both fitfully published. My poetry collection Ancient Lights is published by Phoenicia Publishing ( and my translation of Blaise Cendrars' 'Trans-Siberian Prosody and Little Jeanne from France' (illustrated by my friend, the artist, writer and long-time blogger Natalie d'Arbeloff) is published by Old Stile Press ( I play bass guitar & bouzouki in the song-based acoustic/electric trio Moorby Jones, playing entirely original material. spotify:artist:07MDD5MK9MnRGSEZwbsas9 I have a dormant blog with posts going back to 2004 at Dick Jones' Patteran Pages - - and I'm a radio ham. My callsign is G0EUV
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Natalie says:

    Beautiful, Dick. I know that feeling of the “real world darkness” behind. My night-owl habit keeps me awake far into the small hours but that’s self-created, unlike your unfair, unwelcome and unacceptable sleep deprival. When I eventually do get to bed, my brain is so grateful to be turned off that sleep occurs pretty soon. The difficulty is the waking up!

    • Dick Jones says:

      Thanks,Natalie. An attempt to wrest something positive from this nighttime wandering. I’ve just today started a new med, which currently has me weirdly dizzy and slightly high!. Well, as Neil Young declared, tonight’s the night!

  2. sackerson says:

    I like the soundworld of rural isolation. I’ve lived here so long now I sometimes find city night noise quite unnerving.

    I like that philosophical twist, “neither thought nor theory.”

  3. charlotteash says:

    Hi Dick, I used to read Patteran Pages back in about 2007 or so but lost touch somewhere along the way. I followed a link from Dave Bonta’s recent post and found myself here, where your name rang a bell. So I googled Patteran Pages and etc, etc,…..realized its you! I’m happy to have found you again.
    This poem is wonderful. Love the description of the geese dispute!

    • Dick Jones says:

      Well, hi again, Charlotte, I remember you well! So good to link up again with someone from the days of slow, leisurely social media! Thank you so much for tracking me down and thank you for the thumbs up for the poem. I look forward to further meet-ups.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s