Sleeping Awake

Before an open window & the night’s silhouette, sleeping awake,
a coolness arrives like a guest. Is someone else near, sleeping awake?

So perhaps the old maps were right, & far away a face with streaming hair
has sent a breath in kinship, caressing me, face & figure, sleeping awake.

Half inside time’s looking glass, half beneath the wavering Plimsoll line
of consciousness, the heart half-beats in hope & fear, sleeping awake.

Five senses explore five ways of staying alive at night, while the sixth
& coxswain, counts the pulse of each year, sleeping awake.

In my seventy orbits in the firmament, this crew of six secure the dark,
then bring me ashore each day to rise. Until then, we are sleeping awake.


Ross Donlon is an Australian poet who is widely published both at home & in Ireland. He has travelled extensively in Australia & many parts of Europe reading his poems.