I’ve suffered from chronic insomnia since childhood. That subtle, momentary wrinkle in the air as you settle into bed that tells you that beyond this point sleep is not an option. And then, recumbent, the staring across the room towards whatever minute source of light might glimmer in a corner as your partner breathes deep beside you and the house ticks into the night…




Night. From the carbon window
I stare back, a deconstructed mask
amongst trace elements of moonlight,

rain, black leaves. I am part shapes
remembered and part shapes
from out of the sleep of reason.

In this cone of silence just
before the dawn, the shadow
world is palpable: gods

and monsters glide and crawl
by my garden gate. Half-dreams,
uncertain memories, dust devils rolling.

Here and now, I sense, is the pagan
junction where all things meet:
skeletons into flesh, ghosts

into plasma, rumours, fears, the whole
arcana hard wired into the dark.
The night and I, strange company

in a world without hours, no sound
closer than the distant rhyme
of a long train running.

And then, when I turn away
towards my own dark, there’s just
my breath and the falling rain.

From: ANCIENT LIGHTS by Dick Jones

Pic from:

INSOMNIA 2. – sound file.

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
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