soon i must go to bed by d. ellis phelps

Thanks to Kelsay Books for publishing, words gone wild (2021), a collection of metered and rhymed verse for children and for the young at heart in which this poem is included!

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

soon i must go to bed

but      not before the sun
sinks beneath the purple skirted earth

not until he yawns      below 
 the long blue line       dividing day
       —from night

not until his hundred hands 
hold       their golden fingers

high above his fiery head

not until then must i go to bed

~

soon i must go to bed

but      not before the mud hen
roosts by the dark green pond 

not until she hang-glides through the 
thin pink skin of twilight

not until her soft brown wing
hides her curled duck head

not until then must i go to bed

~

soon i must go to bed 

but      not before the lullaby
floats        from the open throat 
of the croaking toad

not before his staccato song 
calls the mossy shadows 
from the hollow log

not before he blinks
—round amber eyes 
on his amphibious head

not until then must i go to bed

~

soon i must go to bed

but      not before the vanilla moon
weaves her warp and waft

not before her gossamer thread has 
veiled the dark trees and lit the pasture grass

not before the pixie’s bath
in her shimmering white pools

not until then must i go to bed

~

soon i must go to bed

but      not before the evening breeze
teases the four-o-clock bloom

makes her bring her magenta face 
out from her secret hiding place

not before the longest shadow 
becomes a giant striding

across her glistening breast

not until she holds 
her constant nighttime breath

not until then must i go to bed


~d. ellis phelps

5 comments

  1. This is one of the best poems I have ever read! I enjoyed it so much, especially the rhythm and use of alliteration and internal rhymes. Just brilliant! I may keep this by my bedside to read; it should prompt some lovely dreams.

    Like

  2. no matter what the time of day or where I am, these words put me in the feeling and place of a magical evening. My heart and being are in wonder and ease. THANK YOU!

    Like

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