The Life-Buoy and The Blackbird
The stranded skies of my childhood
Were streaked with an erratic anguish
As if I were lost in an unfamiliar circus
Where uncanny clowns jounced and shuffled
While subdued animals performed acrobatics
In a hermetic circus-tent shut to the world.
Like a furless animal on a tumultuous day,
I clung to my father’s outstretched hand
Raising me beyond my anxious fear
Like a life-buoy thrown on stormy seas.
The next day, the wind’s breaths refreshed
The garden, stretching it towards the horizon
While the blackbird sang a larkspurs’ tune
And the foxgloves aspired to the azure.
Ode to Sleep
O Sleep, descend upon me softly
And close my tired eyelids slowly.
O Sleep, let me slip into my shadow
Like a candle waning out into the night.
O Sleep, screen me off from the world’s
Turmoil to create space for the new day.
O Sleep, let me forge new experiences
By memory’s patina shaped by you.
O Sleep, close off my consciousness
That companion of regret that torments me.
O Sleep, protect me from bygone conflicts
And guilty remorse inflicting woe.
O Sleep, ferment my night with dreams
That satisfy my wishes with desire reborn.
O Sleep, thread my life’s frayed filaments
To strengthen my stance, balance, and gait.
O Sleep, fill me with oblivion so I can sleep
Then, wake to a new life of consolation.
O Sleep, lull me with profound repose
Until I can slowly regain my soul’s poise.
Dr. Emily Bilman is London Poetry Society’s Stanza representative in Geneva where she lives and teaches poetry. Her dissertation, The Psychodynamics of Poetry, was published by Lambert Academic in 2010 and Modern Ekphrasis in 2013 by Peter Lang, CH. Three poetry books, A Woman By A Well, Resilience, and The Threshold of Broken Waters were published by Troubador, UK in 2015 and the latest in 2018. Her poems, essays, and translations of Neruda and Valéry appeared in The Battersea Review, Hunger Mountain, The High Window, The Journal of Poetics Research, Tuck Magazine, Offshoots, Expanded Field, The London Magazine, and MONK. “The Tear-Catcher” won the first prize for depth poetry in The New York Literary Magazine. She edits and writes poems and essays for an digital ekphrastic publication www.paintedpoetry.org. Her latest poetry book, The Threshold of Broken Waters, was published by Troubador in September 2018. Her short fiction piece “The Gun” appeared in Talking Soup. She blogs on her website: http://www.emiliebilman.wix.com/emily-bilman