All in a night’s sleep

It’s very, very, [very] quiet at Casa Ana in the middle of the night. Even the river Trevélez, in the valley directly below us seems to stop running – everything that breathes – animals, plants, bumblebees, and people – sleeps. No white noise of electricity or industry. The endless night sky literally increases the volume of the silence – unfiltered, beautifully pitch black, hundreds of stars – I imagine a texture of cashmere.  Daytime sounds, in contrast, seem magnified, so very crisp, and oddly lyrical. Just more of nature’s design intention. My city habit of waking up every night for longer or shorter periods continues. At last Monday’s local writers’ gathering, the writing exercise involved responding to a three minute musical performance by one of the participants (whom, it turns out, is also a now semi-retired, internationally renown cellist). The piece was Bach’s prelude in C major for cello, the first part of his Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 3. A phrase from this piece played by this ‘local writer’, stayed with me for the rest of the evening. When I hit my 2:30 a.m. wakefulness, there was no internet access (;-) to distract me, just the quiet. I wrote this poem in an effort to dispel the earworm so I could get back to sleep. And it worked.

Untimed in Las Alpujarras
(inspired by Bernard Gregor-Smith & Ferreirola Writers)
Bach’s prelude becomes my earworm
greets me at his door
invites me in for tea and digestives.
First plucked, then hollowed out,
any lingering intervals of decency and decorum
by strings
that clutch and release,
that sedate then seduce,
in unpredictable patterns and stilled vibrations,
the master cellist catches me
running towards my cheapest scripts,
looking to escape
my inner sensemaker’s straining truths.
Here in everyman’s mountain refuge,
such an escape can only be fatal.
Truths travel on his bow’s deepest breaths
leading me to middle C.
I hold myself,
and in the stillness 
hangs the certainty of our improvised truce.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s