This weeks Saturday Poetry, matched with mobile photography/art is entitled ‘One Night Comes Like a Blessing’ by Grace Nichols. If you find sleep elusive you will enjoy this poem and indeed Grace Nichol’s collection, The Insomnia Poems. Nichols is an insightful poet. Born in Georgetown, Guyana, in 1950 Nichol’s grew up in a small country village on the Guyanese coast.
She moved to the city with her family when she was eight, an experience central to her first novel, Whole of a Morning Sky (1986), set in 1960s Guyana in the middle of the country’s struggle for independence.
She worked as a teacher and journalist and, as part of a Diploma in Communications at the University of Guyana, spent time in some of the most remote areas of Guyana, a period that influenced her writings and initiated a strong interest in Guyanese folk tales, Amerindian myths and the South American civilisations of the Aztec and Inca. She has lived in the UK since 1977.
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‘One Night Comes Like a Blessing’ Grace Nichols
Like a cruel lover or spiteful mistress
No-Sleep demands my restless attentiveness.
No-Sleep prefers me stripped –
a dark projectionist
winding and unwinding the reel of my thoughts.
An old grained movie I can’t switch off –
a starring of loves and loss, TV footage,
soft tears, mortifications, smothered laughs.
Then, one night comes like a blessing.
A visitation of wings that sees me falling.
Whoever wants me now, I am swimming
towards my House of Dreams.
Let no one disturb this peace.
Let no one shake me
even from the branches of nightmares.
Come morning I am reborn again –
a fresh-faced Eve – emerging from the rib’s shadow –
ready to meet the daily pandemonium of living.
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