Distance between us

The penultimate prompt for NaPoWriMo is to take a key word or so from a favourite poem and let the word inspire a chain of words that will on turn build a poem.

The painting btw is Dante and Beatrice by Odilon Redon.


Where do you go when you sleep and slip from my grasp? Do you walk among stars and look down on my face from afar, or do you stride among rolling hills of cloud and look instead into the face of the morning? Does your day break in a prism of light and fountains of gold, in some place I have never seen and never will? When you slip into sleep and stride through the night, do your thoughts turn to me?

I watch your starlit face, pale as moonlight, and let my fingers trace the outline of your marble cheek, blood-warm. Is the touch of my hand a memory, slowly cooling, in the vast, bright-feathered and horse-running plains of your dreams?

In the deeps of night

clouds spring-brisk fly, feather light—

distance between us.


Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

23 thoughts on “Distance between us”

  1. Stunning, Jane. I love this idea of sleep separating the two people and the wondering about the dreams–but there’s almost a hint that they could share a dreamworld. (Or that’s my imagination.) 🙂
    I really like this painting, too.

      1. You did. It sounds absolutely whacky, but dreams are funny things. I dreamt once that I phoned a friend I hadn’t seen in a while because I was worried about her. Her husband answered and said I couldn’t speak to her. She wasn’t there. It was all very vague and I woke up feeling uneasy so I called her. She came straight round and announced that she and her husband were separating. In fact he had already moved out.

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