Thursday, 20 November 2008


Do you know the feeling?
Like when you run one hand
down the other arm
and it feels like the arm
of a corpse? You still
screw up your eyes when the sun
shines through the window
but only because
your eyes demand it.
Your mind still thinks words
for much the same reason.

Sometime later you realize:
the house is coming back to life!
Lights flicker on and off
like raw nerves illuminating
pictures on the wall,
ripe apples
fall from the rafters, windows
blink, dilate.

And later still
as you lie awake
you can hear the stones
with uncertain
tectonic movements.


Frances said...

I particularly like the last two stanzas and the idea of the tectonic plates rubbing together. Sometimes its difficult to think of interesting ways of expressing feelings or emotions but I think this succeeds very well.

The Solitary Walker said...

I liked the poem too. I recognise that state of being in some way outside the body but registering the body's involuntary reactions. That hypertense state of feeling the body as in some way alien. Uncomfortably accurate, Dominic.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Interesting in that I read this poem as you gradually awakening and only gradually becoming aware that you are still alive! Sometimes, if I have dreamt heavily, when I awake I am not sure which is real - the dream or me lying in bed.

Sorlil said...

Oh nice ending. I'm with Frances, I like the second and third stanzas but particularly the third.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for these comments everyone!

Interesting -and useful to know- that people like the 2nd and 3rd stanzas.

SW: I'm sure there's a word for that state, but I can't think what it is.

S.L. Corsua said...

Do you know the feeling?
Like when you run one hand
down the other arm
and it feels like the arm
of a corpse?

Oh yes. I do, literally, with a memory of being scared out of my wits because I thought I woke up with a stranger in my bed. A nasty, petrifying-first-two-minutes way to wake up. I still remember massaging that arm back to life, and carrying it around for several minutes like meat from the freezer. A 'crisis' indeed. ;)

Anywaym, back to the poem, its sense-perception 'in motion' for me. Cheers.

The Solitary Walker said...

I think that state is 'drunk on the way to being comatose', Dominic!

BarbaraS said...

This works really well, Dominic, I like its thoughtful tone.

Poet in Residence said...

Like S. L. Corsua I had a strange moment one time when I thought it was some stranger's arm in my bed.
This morning I woke up dreaming I was on a train going to Bratislava. Sleep is a strange and wonderful thing. Graham Greene's little dream diary is a funny book.

Dominic Rivron said...

Thanks for the comments, everybody. I'll keep an eye out for GG's book.