Only when you sleep

You carry in your wildness scent of moonlight
and in your breath is blossom and the songs
of graveyards, you are both the taste of night
and awkward singe of all forgotten wrongs.

You’re taste of dew, of warmth of steel, of burns
from frost on apple blossom boughs in May.
And you’re the best of me, the dissonance of ferns
whose listless fronds uncurl on days too grey.

You both corrode and mend me darkly lit
from candles, velvet thrusts and acid blades.
You talk in purple but subside in grit,
You’re black and white; but hued in sunlit shade,

until asleep you pass, and walk with dreams
as smiles of rainbows grace you slightly beamed.

Young Woman Sleeping by Francois Boucher

Today Mish hosts Poetics at dVerse and urge us to use our senses in many different and surprising ways. I thought it was time to write a sonnet again after keeping my pentameter at bay for a while. Com join us at 9 Pm CET.

May 15, 2017

52 responses to “Only when you sleep

  1. love the contradictions in this! The rhythm of the 1st line of the 2nd stanza is absolutely delightful. You maintain the iambs, but with the commas to break up the flow of the line…delightful!

  2. I came across a line that I loved “awkward singe of all forgotten wrongs.” And then I came across another “And you’re the best of me, the dissonance of ferns.” And another, and another until I had a fistful of lines that captivated me. But alas, it might turn into a ridiculous comment if I copied and pasted all the lines that were wonderful, because they would all be here. So I’ll just refer everyone back to the poem above so you can experience the loveliness of this poem one more time.

  3. I have a soft spot for sonnets and this one is beautiful, Björn. You’ve packed it with rich sensual imagery. I’m imagining the scent of moonlight and the ‘awkward singe of all forgotten wrongs’.
    I love the third stanza, with its two faces of love.

  4. What a sensual sonnet, filled with taste of contradictions and lust of May blossoms ~ This whole part of the sonnet stands out for me:

    You both corrode and mend me darkly lit
    from candles, velvet thrusts and acid blades.
    You talk in purple but subside in grit,
    You’re black and white; but hued in sunlit shade,

  5. Wonderful! Fresh and yet earthy, I cannot choose a favorite line as each is like a breeze across my face. Your final two lines are awash in contentedness.

  6. Exquisite. This is what I was hoping for and you delivered! The contrasts and imagery took my mind out of the sensory norm, with “taste of moonlight” , “talk in purple” and “awkward singe of all forgotten wrongs”. I love this one, Bjorn.

  7. Bang on, brother–beautiful, romantic, abstract & a smidge existential–wrapped in the sensual arms of a sonnet. I agree this one begs for open mic or taped reading for sure. Loved the line /the songs of graveyards/.

  8. This is freaking incredible — one of your best pieces.

    These are my favorites:

    “You carry in your wildness scent of moonlight
    and in your breath is blossom”
    “you are both the taste of night
    and awkward singe of all forgotten wrongs”
    “You’re taste of dew, of warmth of steel, of burns”
    “And you’re the best of me, the dissonance of ferns”
    “You both corrode and mend me darkly lit”
    “velvet thrusts and acid blades.
    You talk in purple but subside in grit” (my favorite line)

    Yeah, record this — like Glenn said.

  9. Beautiful contrast sonnet. What I keep coming back to is:
    ‘You both corrode and mend me darkly lit
    from candles, velvet thrusts and acid blades.
    You talk in purple but subside in grit,
    You’re black and white; but hued in sunlit shade,’

  10. My goodness this is absolutely gorgeous!❤️ Especially love; “You’re taste of dew, of warmth of steel, of burns from frost on apple blossom boughs in May.” Beautifully penned 🙂

  11. “You both corrode and mend me darkly”

    Isn’t that how lovers often (maybe always) treat each other? At one time corroding, at another time mending. Ah, how complicated are our relationships!

  12. Oh, wow, so much intense beauty here in the contradictions and true-to-life observations about love…this is most certainly one of my favorites of yours, Bjorn. There are so many amazing lines, but this is one that stood out to me because of the profound impact one lover can have on the other on those days that are too grey: “whose listless fronds uncurl on days too grey.”

  13. I love to talk in purple. This part strikes me: dissonance of ferns
    whose listless fronds uncurl on days too grey.

  14. Luv the image of the unfolding ferns in the grey. For me it hypes my hope to cooler rainy days maybe starting in June.
    Happy you dropped by my Sunday Standard today

    Much love…

  15. I was especially blown away by the first line! But throughout the poem you have given us a sensory feast. You are so good with sonnets — I am in awe! (Hope your eye precautions will be lifted soon and you will be totally healed!)

  16. This is so lovely Bjorn. I especially like the fact that you write of love but it isn’t blind. It sees the light and the dark coexisting but the narrator sees the beauty in this reality.

  17. You followed the prompt perfectly, different and surprising ways, indeed. I love how the first few lines caught me by surprise. I had to reread those lines to make sure her breath didn’t smell of graveyards. But once I reread, my senses pick up the power in the contradiction, the sweet blossoms, the gentle quiet…

  18. A wonderful sonet.
    Geesh you have so many comments (well earned) that I had to hitchhike down here to leave mine 🙂

  19. I loved this sonnet. It is really very special. It is well constructed (the piece resting so splendidly on the final rhyming couplet) with beautifully drawn, evocative images. I loved that you delved into taste … a powerful sense that so often doesn’t get its due. In short, a wonderfully rendered, superb piece of poetry.

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