Poetry by Robert Ronnow: I prefer to sleep and dream, Not enough heat, and Almost Spring

I prefer to sleep and dream

I prefer to sleep and dream than face
this solitary room. No pity, I go on
without a drink and look with gay eyes on
my future in a forest or a city, someplace.

It’s very amusing, what a middle class boy
like me came to, isolated in the northwest
corner of this island, caught in the deepest
loneliness and yet in my heart all this joy.

Surrounded by buildings I am not at peace
yet strangely I am, not like a zen
master but as a man in the wind who when
most despairing and oppressed is most released.

Old records, old unloved books. Sara’s cheek
is a source of pleasure, but she has a friend
with whom to share it and can depend
on him for companionship throughout the week.

So I ride the subway home. I look at faces
and they look at mine, mute, animated spirits.
A crazy woman pushes aboard and exhibits
herself. To her, the passengers’ glances are caresses.


Not enough heat

Not enough heat. Snow. Cold. and now rain
on Tuesday morning. traffic sloshes to work.
it is cloudy for the second straight day. the snow
was magical only for an hour. businesses might
have closed. now it’s melting in a cold rain.

is the city depressing me? i ride the subway
and the people no longer seem beautiful. the noise
is just noise, no longer the power of God. i sit
slumped, still at ease, but no longer playing
with the eyes of other passengers. glance at the ads
and then go to sleep with my eyes open.

it is winter, and it should have its effect. the
difficult, dangerous season when weak creatures die
and the strong barely survive. why expect
much heat to mitigate it and the happiness of Spring?
accept cold and discomfort and the bad sound made.
it is a poor city, the seasons touch us. there is
not enough heat. snow. cold. and now rain.


Almost Spring 

Almost Spring but only February
almost February but only January
only January but almost March.

Almost everyday I play my trumpet
almost every night I ride the trains
every midnight I’m on the trains.

Almost every morning I turn on the radio
every weekday I go to work
every midnight I ride the trains home.

Everyday I spend at work
almost every weekend I play the trumpet
Saturday I ride the train downtown.

Almost every night I get some sleep
only everyday I go to work
every midnight I’m on the trains.

Almost Spring but only February
almost February but only January
only January but almost March.


Robert Ronnow

Robert Ronnow’s most recent poetry collections are New & Selected Poems: 1975-2005 (Barnwood Press, 2007) and Communicating the Bird (Broken Publications, 2012). Visit his web site at www.ronnowpoetry.com.