Night Sepia

by Tim J. Brennan
About Poetry Forum
Second Place, December 2009
Judged by Majid Naficy


The first thing I do to awaken
is turn to music to subdue
that time when the strange bird
sings its own dark song, gaudy
among dream flowers

each night seeds of my past
are scattered from shadows
in the countable hours between
saneness or sickness

sometimes my mother at the foot
of the bed in her night chair—
she waits almost every night
for mourning

sometimes Chopin is at the window
composing his Preludes, half
listening more to his third doctor
than to my personal requests
for a requiem

old teachers: Richard speaking
of Canterbury in his frog voice;
or Elizabeth, tall & brittle,
white & stork like,
urging me to write about art
and singing or music

“just because you’re no good
at either three, don’t mean
your writing can’t be”

like hummingbirds
within me, like small kisses

wondering where I’ve been,
where I’m going, and asking
why I still hold pictures
of people I know longer know


The second poem is wild. It speaks of a patient who sees Frederic Chopin as well as heroes of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales at bed. --Majid Naficy

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