Lost wisdom

Perhaps this has happened to you: you wake in the night with a revelation–the solution to a problem, the perfect start or end of a poem, something important and unforgettable. You know you should write it down, this has happened before and you never remember in the morning, but THIS time it’s too memorable. You know you won’t forget, and you’re still partly asleep and the pen and paper aren’t to hand and you turn over saying the phrase over to yourself and in the morning, of course, it’s gone.  Here’s a version of this by Dorianne Laux:


Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor —
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.

Dorianne Laux

You can see her new website here, and I reviewed her new and selected poems, Only As the Day Is Long, for PoetryFlash two years ago.