Doggerel: ‘Let Me Sleep’

by richardhutton

Little dreaming heart,
Fall asleep and never wake.

Soft she sings,
Softly scented summer words;
Soundless,
But gently heard:

“Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you”.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes –
Cold as the waters hiding the sunrise.

You’re tired and it’s late,
But try to stay awake;
Shield your eyes from the sun
Losing its light.
Rock the cradle, light the candle,
Close your eyes but hold your breath;
Catch the sound of the summer breeze.
The long rays of the evening sun
On everything and everyone.
But heaven speaks.

Dream yourself a wish;
Dream a warm and coloured kiss –
A secret summer smile for you;
But your bruised fingers and cut palms
Can’t catch the breeze
That takes your sighs
And cools your cheeks.

Awake.
Rock the cradle,
Burn the candle.
“Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you”.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes.
Cold now the heat
Of each morning’s sunrise.
Little dreaming heart,
Don’t fall asleep, but close your eyes.

Dream a wish to be.
Stars asleep and sleeping
Softly, soundless, in the lake.
They wait for you, they call –
‘All’s nothing; nothing’s all’.
The midnight waters rise and fall.
Soon –
Fleeting dreams beneath an autumn moon.

Dawn breaks the morning,
The morning breaks;
Its red sky aches,
The baby wakes.
“Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you”.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes.
Your tired heart fading
At the touch of each sunrise.

Heaven wants, heaven aches;
But the sun won’t leave
Until it burns itself cold and still.
So close your eyes.

Dark clouds chase each other across the sky.
Shadows flicker and sway,
Blown by the wind –
Night music,
With no beginning or end.

Awake.
Alone in your room,
But for a child that’s too loved
And the cold mid-winter sun.
It’s light falling down
On everything and everyone.

The sound of the wind
And a silent snowfall
Open into a small mouth crying.
It takes your warmth –
The stillness within –
Of summer smiles and angels’ wings.

The stars in the water –
Frozen, washed away;
Caught up and broken
By the waves.

A voice and a strain;
The candlelight cold.
The shadows breathing –
And the murmur of heartbeats
Wishing and dreaming.

The child unsleeping –
Its small breaths nets,
Trapping the moonlight
And the silences.

The winter wind
Blows light through the trees;
It quickens the child,
And stirs your dreams.
So close your eyes,
Let winter breathe.
Hush now, dream now,
Wish now and sleep.
The small mouth – no more to cry;
The sounds silenced
With a silk-blanket lullaby.

Bayu-bayushki-bayu,
I’ll sing a song for you.
Pretty your mouth,
Tears of blue in your eyes.
Fall asleep, never wake;
Join the silences.

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