“Only In Sleep” by Sara Teasdale and Ēriks Ešenvalds

Only in sleep I see their faces,
Children I played with when I was a child,
Louise comes back with her brown hair braided,
Annie with ringlets warm and wild.

Only in sleep Time is forgotten—
What may have come to them, who can know?
Yet we played last night as long ago,
And the doll-house stood at the turn of the stair.

The years had not sharpened their smooth round faces,
I met their eyes and found them mild—
Do they, too, dream of me, I wonder,
And for them am I too a child?

— Sara Teasdale

then he laid down

he tried, but

there’s an end to every game,

and while days seem the same,

from inside, there is one

that’s not

like other days


he lacked, and

knew he’d always ever lack,

he didn’t have the knack,

for inside, he found one

who was

turned side-aways


for help, he couldn’t reach;

for friends, he couldn’t call —


then he laid down,

he laid down on the bareness of his bed,

and through the aching in his head, he heard

a violin

who understood

it all

My First and Longtime Love

always bringing joy,

and comfort –

and still here, always

(The below is a clip of me playing the last movement of a Haydn piano sonata, mistakes and all. – Owen)

Snapshot: University Choral Concert

Unaccompanied young voices sang in sanguine harmony
Chords locked in colors, melody pure as heaven

The sun clouds wind trees moved beautifully, as one organism
Light through a skylight into a university concert hall

The world, the day grew perfect
Perfect in sound and substance

And gratefulness grew until there was no “I” left
There was only gratitude and being alive, unbounded

In the perfection of music and moment
Beauty, aching and transformed

Swans of Fire / Riding

I thought mountains and swans of fire were swallowing the world.

The ocean roiled, the spray splattered, and the rain came in sideways. I ran drenched, no hand one holding, back to a car that smelled like a wet rug. I backed the old Ford out to the highway, turning the feebly lit dial, until I heard a familiar tune:

We are riding on a railroad, singing some else’s song.
Forever standing by the cross road,
Take a side and step along.
We are sailing away on a river to the sea,
Maybe you and me can meet again —
We are riding on a railroad, singing someone else’s song.
Sing along.
Time to time I tire of the life that I’ve been leading;
Town to town, day by day
There’s a man up here who claims to have his hands upon the reins.
There are chains upon his hands and he’s riding upon a train.
We are riding on a railroad, singing some else’s song
Forever standing by the cross road.
Take a side and step along.
We are sailing away on a river to the sea.
Maybe you and me can meet again.
We are riding on a railroad, singing someone else’s song.

**** “Riding on a Railroad”, Music and Lyrics by James Taylor


Final Trio

For our final trio prompt of the year, write about any topic you wish, but make sure your post features a bookcase, something cracked, and a song you love.

= = = = =

Up on the aging bookcase
With bindings cracked and worn
Adventures of his childhood
That long ago were torn

From off the edge of innocence
To where dreams fall away
These travels, real in vividness
Now lost in yesterday

With so much guilt upon him
He seeks, to balm his past
The sound of children’s voices
Some harmony at last

As with the coming season
The skies begin to weep
He wishes he could tenderly
Put his
Lost child
To sleep…