Sunday, 28 June 2020

Orange curtained


Last night I thought of you, I couldn’t sleep - 
the bedclothes were too warm, too soft, their perfume
felt like the long-ago, orange-curtained room
where you’d sat with the sunlight on your sleeve.

The hoarding outside blinked into the night
some wire loose, some pattern of disconnect
patchy skin of an anecdote, near perfect
in recall, but I know that I’m being naïve.

Nothing much has changed meanwhile, there are three
black and white photos still on the bookcase
the walls kaleidoscope into your face
and grief does not leave any marks on these.

Peace is a hollow sound, darkness is an ear
twisted  in the pillow. And insomnia.


I think of you during the day as well
your hands behind my eyes a push button
umbrella, their arcs of fluorescence open,
your voice a softly blooming magic spell
on a fractured day morphing to a lullaby
for a drop of time, neither blink nor aeon,
a swirl of seconds? years? before it’s gone
and I straighten up whatever went awry

turn back again, deep dive into the phone –  
respond to an email, write a paragraph,
read the news, look up the tally, adjust
my nerves, try a new pink smile - mostly half
hearted. Grief’s the shape of my collarbone
and wrist, milliseconds marooned in the past. 


  1. Hari OM
    You are that lineage - fair enough to feel its pull... YAM xx

  2. Oceans of caring are flowing your way.

  3. one carries on and then a moment hits the brain, hurtling one back in time. I had a dream this weekend, clear as a bell, with my mother in it. I always awake shaken. Take care. Good poem.

  4. I found this a very haunting lament Nila. May peace eventually be yours.

  5. Hi Nila - yes ... so so moving; I had time ... you had none and understood the appallingness; peace is with them now ... for us we adjust and remember those earlier real times. Take care - Hilary