Where do you go
When you are sleeping?
While I am watching?
I want to know.

Who is the you
Just beneath your skin?
Behind your closed eyes?
The one concealed within?

I want to know,
And so I stay close by...
As you breathe untroubled and slow...
Yours the breath, mine the sigh.
for Gay Cannon's Form For All



Cloudia said…
To Say Before Going To Sleep by Rainer Maria Rilke

I would like to sing someone to sleep,
have someone to sit by and be with.
I would like to cradle you and softly sing,
be your companion while you sleep or wake.
I would like to be the only person
in the house who knew: the night outside was cold.
And would like to listen to you
and outside to the world and to the woods.

The clocks are striking, calling to eachother,
and one can see right to the edge of time.
Outside the house a strange man is afoot
and a strange dog barks, wakened from his sleep.
Beyond that there is silence.

My eyes rest upon your face wide-open;
and they hold you gently, letting you go
when something in the dark begins to move.

Aloha from Honolulu
Comfort Spiral

> < } } ( ° >


< ° ) } } > <
Brian Miller said…
yours the breath mine the sigh...yeah i sighed at the end of this one tender...made me think of watching a lover sleep...which is a beautiful thing to me...smiles.
Lolamouse said…
I sighed when I read this. I love, love, love that last line.
HermanTurnip said…
Beautiful poem to receive from a lover.
Creepy poem to receive from a stalker.

Either way, I have to echo Brian's sentiments. Great last line!
Kathy B. said…
I'm trying to match up each poem I read to a song it calls to mind. For you, it's "Lully lullay, thou little tiny child" -- e.g., at The lines are not quite the same length, but when I joined in by singing "where do you go" at the same time as their 1st "thou little tiny child" the result was eerie. There's an effect of mystery matching up with the self-concealed sleeper that your narrator puzzles over, and the music has an agitated energy coming at the same moment as your "I want to know", resolving again with the "As you breathe untroubled and slow" line. I hope you like this combination :-)
siggiofmaine said…
"Where do you go
When you are sleeping?"
So deep and soft at the same time.

"Who is the you
Just beneath your skin?
Behind your closed eyes?
The one concealed within?"
These words are breath taking...
I wonder why I never wondered the same thing. Awesome.
I love to watch babies and children, and sometimes those I love is such a mysterious place to be.

Thank you for transporting me to a place I hadn't thought of.
Siggi in Downeast Maine
Bodhirose said…
I wondered the same thing watching my children sleep...or anyone for that matter. We never know...
Kerry O'Connor said…
I often think that falling asleep is like a long dive into a deep pool of tepid water, so this image makes perfect sense to me. This is a very gentle night song, filled with devotion.
Anonymous said…
'Tis strange that the closer we get to love, the more alien it becomes, as if familiarity were a selkie skin we hide under our bed which the beloved discovers as we fall asleep and soon in sleep is fled ... We come into this world alone, and so we go -- haunted by the presence which is most defined by absence, love never quite able to enter the womb it so yearns to share. Ah well ... a sweet, lovely, lonely nocturne, sung best from the rocks offshore to bell-buoys and passing ships ... Brendan
Sioux Roslawski said…
Shay--The last line was exquisite. And as is usually the case when you use a rhyme scheme, I had to look back and see it, because it was done so seamlessly. Well done!
Marion said…
What a haunting, beautiful song. It fits your poem just perfectly, Shay. Thanks for sharing it. I love finding new singers like Holly Cole. I didn't know her music before. xo
Daryl said…
its always good to have a memorable closer
Sheila said…
Killer last line.
hedgewitch said…
One of the most delicate and simple verses you've written, Shay, perfectly balanced between love and longing, knowledge and mystery. I can hear it singing in every lover's head as they lay down next to that always unknowable Other, the phantom Completion, the sweet, voiceless song in the night.
TALON said…
Beautiful, Shay. Some pieces of us are destined to remain private...
Sherry Blue Sky said…
"yours the breath, mine the sigh"...which made us all sigh. So beautiful and tender.
Lynn said…
That's just lovely.
Unknown said…
Absolutely adore your finish...loved!
Anonymous said…
Agree, lovely tender close. Very very nice. K.
Beachanny said…
Dear Shay - Thank you for this beautiful Christmas present. A perfect lullaby, a perfect love song. I agree with Joy that it is exquisitely balanced. Seeing someone you love sleep is bittersweet; they seem so innocent and beautiful, and it's hard to think they can go somewhere you can't go with them.
Lovely! Wishing you a wonderful season and a fabulous new year! Here's to more of your creative poems in the next year. Thank you.
Maude Lynn said…
This is so pretty, Shay!
just really really lovely!
Anonymous said…
beautiful! exquisite ending! ♥