They stole the night.


Once — before they stole our night
to sell the sky
to trade the blue and stars
of nebulae and moons, our sleep.
for overalls and days of gray.

They called us slaves
to liberate
from weight of choice,
night or day.
‘You get paid your quota
we’re benevolent
as long your muscles ache’.

We believe the ceiling is the sky
we believe the night is day.

We exist through science,
proven drugs,
and hours marked with tasteless food
hours, minutes, numbered time
marked with drums and heavy boots.

Yet I know:
behind the concrete of our prison walls
behind the veils of artificial light,
behind the white noise of this house,
there’s a window to our night.

There will be a night
when I can read again the spells of constellations
There will be a night
when your hair will veil my face again
and we’ve reclaimed the night.

Under construction by Sammy Slabbinck © 2015

Under construction by Sammy Slabbinck © 2015


Linked to Visdare and Poets United midweek motif Night.
July 9, 2015

27 responses to “They stole the night.

  1. In spite of it, the hope stands out in this. How interesting to long for the night sky, but the stars are what we make wishes on. I’ve been in a similar vrin of thought myself working up to the last poem in my Pewter Landscape. Oh, how we humans always wish for something more!

  2. thank god i live in a place where the night has not been not stolen yet.. and we can still read what the stars write…”We exist through science,” aptly describes the human kind…& love that picture..wow…

  3. I love these sections:

    “We believe the ceiling is the sky”

    “We exist through science,
    proven drugs,
    and hours marked with tasteless food
    hours, minutes, numbered time
    marked with drums and heavy boots.”

    “There will be a night
    when I can read again the spells of constellations
    There will be a night
    when your hair will veil my face again
    and we’ve reclaimed the night.”

    Really, no matter what kind of prison your life turns out to be, if there’s a woman (with long hair) somewhere out there for you to think about, I guess it all becomes somewhat bearable.

  4. Concrete of prison walls – We create our own prisons that hold us and destroy the light. This is thought provoking and sets your mind alive.

  5. Regardless our circumstance, we choose what to believe. The only way to freedom is to believe it exists in the first place. Reminds me of how you train elephants to thinking a little spike will hold them. And yes, we are the same way.

  6. This poem stands out for me, among many poems I have read about the night. You touch on the modern era with subtle nuance and show us all we have lost without really noticing, and remind us that the true night is still within our reach. Superbly done.

  7. It’s called progress, but we sometimes wonder what we’re progressing to. We lose things along the way. Well done, Bjorn. 🙂 — Suzanne

  8. This is beautiful Bjorn. I love the yearning, the pain, the hope to share the night with a his love. I hope his prison sentence is finished soon. What a great read!

  9. Yes, I do think we need to reclaim the night. I look up into the sky sometimes at night & cannot see the stars…for all the city lights around, which block them. I like to be able to read the “spells of constellations” in the sky!

  10. Wonderful, Bjorn. The last stanza as fabulous, esp. “reading the spells of constellatins” and the image of a, “veil of hair” is lovely.

  11. Wow, I love the story told here, feel the grayness, and also the hope that one day the narrator will once again see the constellations. Beautifully written, Bjorn.

  12. We are so good at creating our prisons, aren’t we? I enjoy nights outside in nature when we can see the stars. I of course appreciate the metaphorical dimension of your poem.

  13. Intense and ecstatic in the coil of daily life!!! Your poem reminds me of the Persian mystic and dervish poet, Rumi. —“Why do you stay in prison when the door is so wide open?” -Rumi
    All I can say is Ahhh… Rumi’s writing is always, always an experience!!!
    I dont know where but your work also took me somewhere. Maybe to the field where he is 🙂 Thanks for sharing, Brudberg.

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