Straw mannequin

Wide awake at two AM,
a moonless night
the branches brought by the breeze
to pat the window-panes
persistently alone,
with pieces of my past 
scattered from the cover of my dreams;
growling, scurrying on spindly leg 
seeking the protection
of lint and shadows;
leaving in their wake
a sour smell of afterthought,
reminders and regrets
of being made a puppet
for their play, and how
the future never looked like this: 
alone, awake at two AM. 

The Straw Manikin
Francisco Goya

Today we are writing using settings at dVerse with Grace. The setting in a piece of writing, and sets the mood. It is quite common that I wake up with many strange thoughts, but barely grasping why.

February 11, 2021

22 responses to “Straw mannequin

  1. Love the imaginative take when awake at 2pm in the early morning. I normally wake up towards dawn, and I always forget my thoughts. I admire how this surreal like a puppet play, time suspended or something that can happen in the future. Regards from cold Canada.

  2. I like the circularity of this poem, Björn, which suggests that being wide awake at two AM is a regular occurrence, something that will happen again and again, the use of sound with the branches patting the window-panes, and especially the phrase ‘a sour smell of afterthought’. This is a familiar occurrence, although it usually happens several times in the early hours for me.

  3. I love this central part:
    “pieces of my past
    scattered from the cover of my dreams;
    growling, scurrying on spindly leg
    seeking the protection
    of lint and shadows;”
    They are like little beasties that run and hide when we open our eyes. I like how the poem starts with a statement that is repeated, with a cultivation of empathy from the reader by the end line. 2 a.m., alone, on a moonless night can be a very lonely place.

  4. Very nicely done. It speaks a lot to how thoughts can come to pester us at late or very early hours when our defenses are down and minds are prone to wandering. Great piece 🙂

  5. A bit of a nightmarish dreamscape for us. Awake, but blurry, sleep still a mantle. You outdid yourself with the wonderful alliteration,” the branches brought by the breeze, to pat the window panes persistently alone, with pieces of my past…” Great work, brother.

  6. You’ve made time (2 AM) itself a setting, and made it alive with the bitter sharpness of the past, and that, to me, is its own threat.

  7. Branches brought by breeze to pat window panes …. how I love that line. I awakened at 3 am this morning. A poem running thru my head. Notebook not on my bedside table. Ran upstairs, wrote down the lines. Back to bed. I thoroughly enjoyed your poetry……

  8. Such a perfectly-captured setting of those insomniac moments!

    ‘leaving in their wake
    a sour smell of afterthought,’

    – fantastic, this is how worries can get to us during sleepless nights!

  9. ‘Scattered from the covers of my dreams’

    This was my favourite line

    I love the way you’re able to capture how the past can sneak upon us at night. How you showcase the way we are helpless at 2am in the morning, because that’s usually a time where we go to unwind, it’s usually a time where our bodies have succumbed to the tiredness…

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