Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I Wander Sleepless - Sonnet

I wander sleepless, alien to calm
Through ruined hours where late the mad birds sang,
Craving but a drop of healing balm
That slumber would afford my nerves so jangled

By these creatures lacking any sense
Of time or fellow feeling for my plight.
Of shattered dreams, where is my recompense?
Why must they ply their troth all hours of night?

These mockingbirds who mock me with their song--
Devoid of melody, cacophenous--
Can they not see the sun has set? 'Tis wrong
To twitter atonally, as often as

Not. Alas, my night's rest is shot once more.
Tormented by these birds I can't ignore.

--Ellen Shipley


I wrote this way back in the way back when Will was in grade school and the mockingbirds used to nest in the trees next door (before the neighbor cut down all their trees, the bastard). Will, or Billy then, used to call them car alarm birds, because they could sound just like a car alarm going off...or a watch alarm, or a jack hammer for all I know. Urban mockingbirds. We used to hear their song coming from down the block, each batch of birds repeating the irritating car alarm that was going off somewhere.

Kinda fun to think about -- now, when they aren't plaguing my sleep. The young ones couldn't carry a tune in a bucket when they were first learning to sing. It nearly drove me mad, before I learned to chuckle.

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