I Slept With You Last Night

I slept with you again last night; perhaps you did not know.

You’d gone before the morning light; I didn’t hear you go.

So silently you crept away, I didn’t hear you speak.

Did you feel, before you went, my breath upon your cheek?

Feel my breath upon your cheek; as I felt yours on mine?

Your leaving: was it accident, or was it by design?

I slept with you again last night and felt the warmth of you

Beside me in my quiet room, and all that long night through

My eyes sought out the shadow there; the form of your dear face;

And then perhaps I’d slept myself; but woke to find no trace,

No trace of you remained; no hint of where your head had pressed;

Nor heard, nor felt the rhythmic pulse; your heart within your breast.

 

 

There was no sign that you had gone; no sound of closing door;

The dog lay in her basket still, where she had lain before;

She turned a sleepy eye to me, expressive face bemused.

No sound of footfall on the stair; the silent house refused

To give its poignant secret up; and in premorning gloom

The dog sat up and stretched and then she moved across the room

Rested her chin upon the sheet where you so often lay

Her tender eyes, those amber orbs; those eyes that seemed to say

That though she knew you should be there; she could not understand

Your absence, and her gentle muzzle sought my outstretched hand.

You’d vanished like a spectre; like the early morning dew.

Or had I slept alone again? …alone and without you.

More by this Author


Comments 67 comments

Deborah Demander profile image

Deborah Demander 5 years ago from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD

Oooohhh, I like this poem. It is hauntingly beautiful.

Namaste.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you so much, Deborah. Thank you for visiting, and reading, but most of all, thank you for the very kind comment.

Namaste to you too.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

I enjoyed this... it carries a subtle message of hopelessness for those who may wittingly or unwittingly: Snore, Smell Bad, Smuggle all the Pillows, Grind their teeth, Suffer from flatulence, Talk in their sleep, Starfish with all the sheets, or not take the responsibility of feeding jointly owned pets! Nice Work.. I'm watching a style evolve interestingly.


winepress profile image

winepress 5 years ago

I read this poem word for word...line by line. Every line is stuffed with words that hark me back.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Are you personalising this a little Pearl Diver. I did a quick headcount of the people leaving your bedroom and asked them to fill out the check-box sheet with , and hardly any of them said that you were guilty of many of those things.

Thanks for reading it anyway... passes the time, Innit.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I hope you liked it Winepress. My aim is to open old wounds, I suppose, but still... I hope it provided something special for you. Please come again.


Pearldiver profile image

Pearldiver 5 years ago from Tomorrow - In Words & NZ Time.

Actually, I found found it an excellent piece wordy.. you know... wise.. and the poetic bit was really a frippen pleasure to read while I ate flied rice with chop sticks... Please... don't be too harsh in choice of flavour of depression - there are some really great poetry opportunities in the air! I couldn't help but add the previous comment of hopelessness... (Not directed at any particular party) but based only on the observation that in your pic... there is a double bed... yet all the pillows are staked on one side - Qui? So my friend such observations can only be positively made by parties that appreciate the detail in another's work! - I did! Besides your spelling is perfect!! :D


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Very observant. So I see all the attributes of a Miss Marple or a Hercule Poirot. Did you notice that the dog didn't remake her bed when she left it? As you said earlier, there are some who assume the posture of the starfish. Double beds are useful for that.

Incidentally, those who suffer from flatulence tend to be the first person once removed... not the originator. Those who are flatulent tend to be completely oblivious to same. (Ask Mrs Parker-Brown's husband).

Try to google: twilightlawnsplc mrs parker-brown at her pump organ


AngRose profile image

AngRose 5 years ago

I must tell you Ian, it is completely your own fault that I am as greedy for your writing as I am. If you were not so fantastically gifted, I wouldn't yearn to read so much of your writing. The words are like pictures in my mind as I read them. I felt the warm breath upon my face, gently fluttering the hair from across my forehead as you leaned over and gently whispered tender words.

Yours is a gift that must be shared, so I will not apologize for my shameless begging of more of your work...there are others that will thank me for my nagging! :) Another beautiful piece by my special friend. Thank you so much Ian.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I'm really glad you enjoyed it Angie. That's all I want from writing, for people to say that they like it and it "works" for them. And of course, when someone as nice as you asks so nicely, what can I do but agree?

Thank you.

Ian


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

Dearest Ian. Such a sweet English bedroom and bed. I wonder whether the bottom sheet is "fitted" to the mattress corners so that the sheet doesn't muss up during the night? It was not a problem for me, since I sleep quietly but for those who toss and turn, it must be a- (pardon the pun) - nightmare.

Are we sure that the doggie didn't voyeuristically watch and then pretend sleepy-eyes to hide it? Was she bemused or just confused? But how dear of her to move over to you and sympathize.

Perhaps if you'd relent and send her a valentine?. . . (OOPS - dangling antecedent - I didn't mean the dog!)

Seriously, it's a lovely bittersweet poem. I love it. Your expertise with the rhythm and rhyme are incredible. You even make the formality of it speak poignantly of the meaning being conveyed.


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 5 years ago from UK

Beautifully done, yet again. There are plenty of poets on HubPages, but very few whose words really are pure poetry! Was the absent sleeper only ever there in dreams and imaginings? Or was Pearldiver nearer the mark?


pgupta profile image

pgupta 5 years ago

Very beautifully written. Enjoyed reading.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Nellie, thanks for reading it and for your comments (most of them). Valentines' card are not high on my agenda, I am afraid.

And thank you for the comment: "Your expertise with the rhythm and rhyme are incredible." It made me go back and read it, whereas I had become familiar with the whole poem... the rhythm in the deceptively iambic septameter really works and drags the reader along with little pity.

And I hadn't even noticed!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Amanda, thank you for those really encouraging words. i try not to whack out a "poem" a day with no respect for my readers. Words mean too much to me for that.

And to your question: Dreams and memories of events are sometimes intertwined in our minds. Decide what you would most like to have been the situation, and read into it what you want, my friend.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Pgupta, thank you for coming and reading my poem. You are welcome any time, and thank you for saying that you enjoyed reading it.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 5 years ago from California

This is very beautiful. And sad. The heartbeat part in particular. I listen to my wife's heart all the time. There's something so comforting in hearing it, knowing she is alive, and yet, it's terrifying to think about, that that faint sound, so fragile really, might be gone. Then where would I be? I've always listened to her heart, for 22 years. I have the advantage of being a male, and therefore, my selfishness should come as no shock when I say, I hope my heart falls silent before hers.

Anyway, a marvelously melancholy little ride this was. Thanks for it. Now I'm going to go drink. lol


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Shades for coming and reading. I am glad that you noticed that part. Your comment was really quite poignant... "I hope my heart falls silent before hers" is so beautiful. Perhaps someone should work on that theme... I am tempted already, but with me, I have a million plans, but usually they come to nought.


KKalmes profile image

KKalmes 5 years ago from Chicago, Illinois

Hello my dearest Ian, I would have thought it impossible to bring me to tears when speaking soulfully about such things as love... but it was your last line that opened the flood-gates against my will.

"Or had I slept alone again? …alone and without you."

I may not forgive you for sharing words so heartfelt they would bring to tears, but then my friend of course they would speaking so much from the heart!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Dearest Kevin, it is so lovely to see your name here again. I have missed your comments and your presence. Please forgive me for bathing your heartstrings in tears. It was my aim to hurt, but it wasn't a wanton act. I really loved writing it this way.

I hope you are fine and all is working out for you,. Ever in my thoughts,

Ian


shogan profile image

shogan 5 years ago from New England

You are masterful with the iambs, my friend. "No sound of footfall on the stair; the silent house refused/To give its poignant secret up; and in premorning gloom--" I love this. It reminds me of something I wrote a long time ago. But that's the beauty of your poems: they always remind one of something long ago.


tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 5 years ago from South Africa

Unbelievably beautiful and compact with a depth and richness of meaning. I love it and can add no more to what others, especially the incomparable Nellieanna, have said here. Loved it.

Love and peace

Tony


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Shogan. That critique meant a hell of a lot to me. I suppose it recalls the long ago because loss, love and unrequited love are eternal.

I really appreciate your visits.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, so much, Tony. I appreciate your lovely comments; and underlining the awesome Nellieanna has doubled my gratitude. Please feel free to visit again, and I hope I come up to the mark.

Ian


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

twilight the sense of loss was alive thru the poem.the feeling that it may some day happen to anyone incl me left me with goosebumps.just amazing imagery wher the smallest thigns meant so much.

namaste to you too


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Neelesh, thank you for coming and reading my effort. And thank you for appreciating it for what is says. I hope it didn't distress you too much.

Namaste


Pamela N Red profile image

Pamela N Red 5 years ago from Oklahoma

Nice poem. It reminds me of a dream. We think it's real until we wake.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Pamela, for stopping by. The door is always open, and there are one or two others that you might enjoy reading.


Nellieanna profile image

Nellieanna 5 years ago from TEXAS

When the rhythm happens so naturally you hardly noticed yourself, that is when it is most magical!

I knew you weren't fond of Valentine giving - but you didn't seem fond of sleeping alone with just a dream partner, either. So - - well - you know . . . at times we must rethink or re-weigh our priorities. . . .


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I am so glad I can cut myself off and empathise on a surface level. I friend who is suicidal and self harming had just turned up and wants a bed for the night. I am so glad I have a day bed in both of my living rooms... I'm going to bung him in there and get some sleep. I was in the middle of creating a new hub when he arrived.

Not even a serious one, so watch this space.


neeleshkulkarni profile image

neeleshkulkarni 5 years ago from new delhi

came ehr to reread the poetry but realsied i was scared and just left the comment.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Don't be frightened. It doesn't necessarily happen to everybody. Life isn't always cruel... sometimes it takes us all and nourishes us, with love.


LaurieDawn profile image

LaurieDawn 5 years ago

Ian, I can see now see why Ang is so enthralled with your work of prose. I found this a delightful and incredible piece of poetry. Splendid, simply splendid.

Blessings,

Laurie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Laurie. I hope you come by again and have another taste, and I really hope you like what you find.

Ian


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

I feel your words and love the magic of your poem.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you Acaetna. I appreciate your visit and am happy that you liked what I have written. For one, as you, who are always so optimistic about love and relationships, I hope it didn't make you too sad.


acaetnna profile image

acaetnna 5 years ago from Guildford

No actually it didn't make me too sad. This was an incredibly brilliant piece of poetry and I was captivated by your words.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

That makes me happy. Then I welcome you back, any time you want to.


attemptedhumour profile image

attemptedhumour 5 years ago from Australia

Hey twilight this is too special to joke about, a deliciously soft rhythmic verse, that floats along, like drift wood in a gentle stream. Fantastic, really fantastic!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

What a lovely comment. Thank you. I feel as if I just have to pull out all the stops, as that sort of comment puts me on a high.

I'm going to read it again with your words sounding in my ears.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Ah, then Mark, please follow the instructions on the tin, "Once opened, this product has been known to go on and on until it is finished".

A kindly suggestion; I have been known to write poetry that has more than one verse, in fact more than the above. This only has 281 words

For future reference; please avoid (if they ever get to be published)

‘Before You Go’ - 695 words

‘I love You Voice’ - 895 words

‘Young Man In Black’ - 941 words

By the way; no offence meant, as none intended (I hope). Thanks for ploughing through the interminable extra three verses.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

When I say, "Published" I mean whacked into a hub on HP.

I don't get ideas above my station!


BenWritings profile image

BenWritings 5 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

This is masterful writing. The flow of the lines, in such a well-written story. This is definitely one of my favorites I have read lately.

Every part of this poem is just plain GREAT poetry. loved it, thanks for following me :]


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

From a writer as good as yourself, Ben, I take that comment with humility. And I'm following you because what I read impreses me greatly.


BenWritings profile image

BenWritings 5 years ago from Save me from, Tennessee

It pleases me so much to hear that new followers are impressed or awed by my work.

:]


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Putting it simply, you are worthy of it... them... awe and being impressed.


tlmntim9 5 years ago

Wow!

I really like this one. Your rhythm and style are perfect!\And the ending "You’d vanished like a spectre; like the early morning dew."

Very talented. I need to read more of your work!

Tim W

tlmntim9


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Tim. I appreciate that. And of course, you are welcome to stop by and take your fill.


Sunnie Day 5 years ago

Very beautiful and yet very sad..I wonder why the cute puppy had not made its way to the other side of the bed? He/she may have known that this was a place for someone dear and is waiting for her return.

Thank you,

Sunnie


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Sunnie. I think the "someone dear" was missing the dog as much as the dog missed that person.

But dogs don't understand how humans react to each other. I'm glad you appreciated it... please come again.


SilverGenes 5 years ago

I loved reading this poem and being carried away. It's like morning light though the drawn curtains, waking gently while still leaving one to dream for a moment still.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, SilverGenes, for dropping in and reading my offering. I really appreciate the comment, and hope you come and have another look around. You will be most welcome.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

I loved this, the flow was superb, and I could relate. except my person I slept with in a dream...


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

I appreciate you looking into the poem and the comments just hit the spot. Thank you SO MUCH for "the flow was superb", you made me very happy with that comment.


Nikkij504gurl profile image

Nikkij504gurl 5 years ago from Louisiana

no problemo! It was really good!


Becky 5 years ago

Beautiful, and very poignant.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 5 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you, Becky. I can be serious too.

And I love this poem. It's a very poignant one to me.


xstatic profile image

xstatic 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

Beautiful poem! I ran across you in a comment you made elsewhere and came to read some. I'm glad I did!


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

I'm reading and re-reading to try to determine where the other has gone...left the bed or passed away? The dog not stirring makes the mind wonder. What a really great poem, so well written and with so much thought and more to think about! Beautiful. Voted up and awesome.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

xstatic, so glad you found me. This is one of my favourites, Thanks for the visit.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

tillsontitan, thank you for reading it and wondering.

They say poetry doesn't need an explanation, but it's up to the reader to decide for herself what really happened.

If you want to know, I will tell, or do you want to wonder?

Give you a clue... I broke my heart.

Doesn't help much, does it?

But thanks for the awesome.


rahul0324 profile image

rahul0324 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

Lovely write Ian! All of it.. just beautiful and engrossing!


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

Thank you for visiting, Rahul. Lost love is a dreadful thing. I like this very much myself.

That sounds arrogant, but there you go.


snigdha.s profile image

snigdha.s 4 years ago from India,mumbai

Beautiful poem. The very thought of living without your love is disturbing and you never want to let them go even when they are gone. Loved the expressions. There are always beautiful memories associated with love. We relive those beautiful moments just by remembering them.Great Hub


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

snigdha.s, thank you for those very kind words.

It's great that you have obviously read, liked and understood the poem and its sense of loss.


one2recognize2 profile image

one2recognize2 4 years ago from New York

This was absolutely beautiful and so glad I dropped in. Amazingly written and the last verse so very sad. Loved it and thank you.


Twilight Lawns profile image

Twilight Lawns 4 years ago from Norbury-sur-Mer, Surrey, England. U.K. Author

one2recognize2, thank you so much for your visit. I made the mistake of reading the poem as I opened it up to see your comment, your lovely comment, and now I am in tears.

This poem means a lot to me and I am so glad it touched your heart also.

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