As a boy I dreamed my dreams awake,
before sleep or on truant mornings
flickering on my bedroom ceiling,
floating past dull schoolroom panes,
or prone in summer’s sports-field grass
flying the bulging clouds across the sky.
Dreams came like rain or dawn’s dew
burnishing the cobwebbed flowers;
eyes imprisoned in toffee-apple glaze
wrapped in amber the anger of those days.

Night’s box welcomed warm and black
under the blanket sky
and small as the stars that swing
in the great marquee of space, I slept.
Sleep, happy oblivion,
vacuum of senses
in the long instant
from closed to opened lid
torn too soon by dawn’s claw
scratching night’s warmth away.

Child of the dark
I give you back your dreams
from forty years waiting,
for now sleep is picture bright
thronged with half forgotten faces
in half familiar rooms;
hand in hand we cross on stepping stars
the vastness of the night.


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