I would sit in the still window
adorned in darkness, lingering
to hear the rooster crow before
eyes could spot the coming morning.
The other birds, as if woken
by their General, called to arms
for the battle that lies ahead,
begin to pass knotted signals.
Try as I might, to pick one out,
decipher one chirp of many,
to triangulate location,
all the birds sing this one long blur.
The rooster general, trilling
out orders, passing on commands,
and his troops, warbling “Yes sir,”
and “No sir,” and “Sir, waiting sir.”
All this in a made up language,
an imagination of dawn,
a scheme that’s designed for a head
which, while asleep, will never dream.
In waking, the voices that haunt
me are not inside, not bizarre
head cases whispering numbers,
but jays, robins and passing cars.
Mine is the waking dream racing
up the sides of logs, the squirrel
peasants and winged royalty,
the great charging warrior dogs.
The mind that wanders stays awake,
lets off steam, lake geyser of thought
setting time and maintaining blood
pressure, breathing, sugar intake.
By noon the rooster is sleeping,
the birds are high, have retreated,
men with cars screaming down the street
and airplanes have stolen the sky.
It’s a lonely afternoon, one
barely worth jotting down, only
to ready my seeming exhaustion,
nap which will catch not a lone dream.
There is darkness, and darkness, though
the light outside is strong and high,
and ears, which have no lids will still
doodle, giggle, visualize.
Then silence, the death of sellers,
the fall of bright winged royalty,
muffled and then lost passing cars,
into the thoughtless and blank night.
Mine is an itch atop a head,
the discombobulated blanket,
the odd and misshapen pillow,
long strands that tie me to this bed.
Some complain of black and white, tell
of how color proves nothing, how
nothing turns, how dreams abandon
them, unable to run or move.
The night has come, and with it, cars
parked in the streets, scores slumbering
in their nests, the great rooster head
tucked under his arm and snoring.
What dreams General, do you know
while you sleep? Is it of battle,
or a time of kind rule, peaceful
and quiet, no need for crowing?