Somewhere I have seen
(Perhaps you know where?)
A parody of a grand theatrical overture.
The thrilling theme lulls to a quiet.
The room lights dim.
The brocaded velvet curtains draw slowly open.
It’s apparent there’s a double, even treble,
Layering of these dastardly drapes,
Each one drawn open more slowly than the last.
No! Three was not enough; there’s seven or eight.
Finally, in the hushed dark, we are treated to the sight:
A tiny figure, munchkin sized, in a dim grey spotlight.
Dressed in top hat and tux, with a monocle.
The Planter’s Peanut Man comes to mind.
He speaks, in a circus barker’s bellow,
Of the delights we are about to witness.
Challenges us that we are to give a true interpretation of each act
Before we are permitted to see the next.
Promises us that, at the end of ends,
We will be filled with comfort and joy,
And the long night will be worth our while.
Regrettably, my little story is but a metaphor.
Contrived to tell, in an oblique manner,
Of one man’s nightly entrance to the theatre of sleep.
The “thrilling” theme of his wayward thoughts
Begins to quiet, from purposeful exhaustion.
Still fidgeting, he awaits the annoying short circuits to cease their sparks.
The house lights dim.
The curtain tricks begin, but are a little different for him:
Behind each lifted veil, there is a disconnected story.
Each, perhaps, a little more mad than the last,
With demented forms, clearly visible to the mind’s eye,
That he must piece together and make sense of
Before he is permitted the comfort of the lower circles of consciousness.
A dialogue with the peanut man (or his counterpart) is necessary,
And anxious answers must show a cunning resolve
Before the little man opens the next curtain.
At the last (if he gets there), there is a soft and somehow comforting dark.
A pale flagstone path begins to appear in front of him.
It winds a bit, and at its end there is something with a faint bluish glow.
The usual pain in his limbs has gone, but still he walks forward slowly,
Finding an inviting sofa, in plush black velvet, emitting the blue glow of a gas flame.
He knows to lie down. It is pleasantly warm to the touch.
He listens to a most pleasing sound, like a purr, as he is enfolded
Deeply, in the arms of Morpheus.