In the House of Night

In response to a three-dimensional etching by Aine Scannell.

In the house of night, a blue bear
pores over the screenplay for your dreams.
Somebody’s bad heart wrinkles
like a sack of cheese tied to the rafters.
I dreamed that I was lucid-dreaming,
and then I was.

In the house of night, neither ink
nor midnight oil ever run low.
Bed-time prayers flutter out
through a cross-shaped window,
anachronistic as bats on a winter day.
The mild poison from a house spider bite
spreads a dark delta down one thigh.

In the house of night, every time
a clock stops, some unloved language
or species dies in its sleep.
A nightjar blows its lid
& the bogeyman jumps, an obvious fraud,
under the parchment eaves.

6 Replies to “In the House of Night”

    1. Thanks! I didn’t know you knew each other. Aine sent the link to her new website to qarrtsiluni the other day so we could update the index of contributors, and I was blown away.

  1. I was so pleasantly surprised to find this Dave – now I am blown away !!

    Love that expression in itself making me think of a furry dandelion bulb when you blow it away on a summers day !!

    Many lovely metaphors/ expressions within you poem – so I refuse to single one out, as it is lovely in its entirety………..

    Oh Ok then…..the bit about the clock stopping and languages dying ……….

    Now need to go and look up Ekphrasis again


    1. Hey, glad you found it! I should’ve sent you the link, I guess, but you were kind of hard to get ahold of for a while… and then I just forgot about the poem. Which ain’t bad, now that I re-read it.

      Ekphrasis is a pretty fancy word but it has no synonym, so I find it essential for talking about writing in response to works of art.

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