There are nights, many such nowadays
when sleep does not give me the time of day
perches itself, to take a bird’s view of me
care takes over, I’m tired of wishing will
could transport me up, have a real discourse
not on ‘the cloud’ lay the topic to rest, while at it
hit the hay, upon white heaven-made fluff
it’s dreamy, two birds, one stone.
The dusk sky stares, an infinite blue screen
I watch it toy with my frontal lobe
this is a tag-of-war, I declare, lay some strategy
on the ground, it’s work in progress
enters the ostrich, so hot to trot
proves he stands out from the rest
pees his taunt on the road map
relaxation is bullied into a whiff
of a veld on fire, wish I could escape but
there’s no way out of this flightless aerodrome.
Spread-eagled in the heat, feels like I am
the Kalahari, cheated, a regular jumping jackdaw
toss, turn, s t r e t c h crook of the arm
it needs a break, this friction smell
is a naughty bird’s poop.
Sandman the egret, all in white trampling ticks
in a wedding march, timid little bride abandons
the cattle ride at the threshold, no honeymoon night
come morning and I will be the sore-eyed groom
breaking the fast on gritty scrambled eggs
dip-tank deep in shit.
Block-headed, stiff elbowed
will have to layoff knobkerrying(we improvise)
for a while, white balls are eggs
found in the Woods, no cries of “Nick Price!”
I’m sulky, the robust arms of Morpheus
have declined to give me a hug.
In a tantrum I bury light-shyness under an oblong
feather pillow, it has a fowl antithetic smell
of a dressing that lays every part bare
have pluck, the bedroom light is off
nasal drawl of the grey lourie rings in my ears
it’s no piece of jewelry
‘go away, go away, go away’
a round table of wood borers takes up the call
in Chinese whispers banqueting away, already!
sprinkling some powder onto the night
distorting circular hut thatch stringers, whispering
fervently ‘insomnia insomnia insomnia’
ah, the shape I’m in.
Nap flees, vortexing above, a whirlwind
blowing, creates a hollow in the centre
skirting me like a totem, the bedroom hunter
in me is awake, tries to waylay, moving with stealth
in siesta’s leeward but the wind reeks of queasiness
takes the crow’s route straight south!
I hear the books on the divider rustle
have to concur with The Godfather
no option except to ‘go to the mattresses’
till this disorder ‘sleeps with the fishes’
the flamingo stands on one leg
above the turbulence of waters
that shimmer in the wavy moonlight
the other conceals a lupara, bent
on making restlessness ‘an offer he can’t refuse.’
In slow motion, I watch for the umpteenth time
the full moon being swallowed whole
I’m done for
wide-eyed, a goat-sucker, keen to bust the myth
screeching on and on I’m Just another sucker
someone else has been milking the doe
oh, cut the Chase night bird, with that bill
might as well Tell it to the birds
a case of the proverbial book by its cover
darting in-out across the length of the plot
dining on six legged snoozers with a wow
each flap of the predator’s billowing wing
spreading far and wide the bait’s magnetic field
a fragrance of overripe mangoes
East is brightening, my world darkening
the fading moonlight, an aging woman
sleeping with makeup on is wooed
elopes with beauty slumber, it’s no party
for the animated scarecrow
A jerky hand reaches out to Shakespeare
“Please…”I have caught the tail of kip
within the dusty lines this way before
shakes the copy, “What the?” nose rebellion
a night-jar in distant lands, omen of death
has found a niche
takes ‘whip-poor-Will’ to another level
so high it flies out of my reach, the audacity!
Now to interrogate or not to interrogate
he “who does murder sleep” is the question
and hornBill weighs in his deep timbre descending
from the cavity of a black ebony tree
an erect silhouette on an anthill pedestal
threatening its beak to extinction
a huge biased comma, that punctuates the day
turning a blind eye to my predicament
it’s dismaying ‘As sparrows eagles’.
Sun-bird stretches tiny rubber-like strips
on sides of beaks brimming with song
Y- shaped catapults aimed at my Z’s, I bag zero
gets down to it, melody sweet as nectar
my heavy head bobs like a cork from a bottle of mead
reused on a fishing line
the hammerkop flies by and plop! goes the spanner
into the works. Marley’s “Three little birds”
are ready to salvage the day with that offbeat guitar sound
in particular, the reggae riddim set as alarm rises
like the morning star tailing its forerunner
a drum buster for a new day.
I’m cuddled by the belated lullaby without time
brother-man, still teetotaling yet drunk as Chloe.
The rooster’s universal whoop pecks
bed bugs to the side, at the eye gunk
on the insides of my laden eyelids.
How will I ever find the opiate?
I believe it’s there, somewhere within the leaves
in Uncle Tom’s cabin, I’m helpless and Aunt
is Mrs. Malaprop apt, insisting on ‘calling poultry poetry’.
I’ve been out all night within this single wall
an owl working loose stitches of sleep I’ve cast on
‘war woes!’ it’s witchcraft, jinx still unbroken
I face with superstition another breaking day
a yawn lengthy as the first morning’s number one
my cue to get back to work, slave driving the Muse
a blob of sleep walking, open Windows
seven in the morning till the chickens…
rest is history in repeat mode.
Nobody knows…for I keep it to myself;
my worries and I mate for life like doves.