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The Night Bird--A Poem

Updated on March 15, 2011

I awoke from a dream

Remember the anniversaries
Remember the anniversaries

A kaleidoscope of faces


I found myself awake at 4:00 AM one morning, awakened from a dream. In my dream were images from the past—the faces of friends, lovers, and family appeared before my eyes in a random pattern. One face was emphasized and then another; calling my name before receding, only to be replaced by another face. People transformed into events, things I remembered from childhood. The distant past gave way to more recent images as I watched my life play out before my eyes, one random moment at a time. Memories from the past became actions I did not recall—things I hadn’t (yet?) done. The faces returned, crying out in unison, warning me to be careful and advising me to remember the anniversaries. Remember the anniversaries. Someone said that to me before, a long time ago.

When I awoke, I heard the sound of a bird outside my window. Completely awake in the middle of the night, I resigned myself to the moment and found my journal. I remembered the anniversaries and wrote these words.



The Night Bird

 

The night bird wails its lonely cry

I hear it as I dream

Shadows rest beside me now

Things aren’t quite what they seem

 

A love that’s lost but not forgotten

Haunts this tortured brain

If I once had you in my life

Why can’t you be again?

 

A gentle touch, a quiet voice

That scatters all my sorrows

That speaks the words I want to hear

But mentions no tomorrows

 

Fools like me under a spell

Of dreams I couldn’t rationalize

You’re gone too soon from by my side

My bed—a jail made with your lies

 

Phantom lovers cast in gloom  

A ghost’s caress I’m waiting for

No sounds are heard, I lay alone

The night bird wails its cry no more

 

 

 

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    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Nila says, thank you. I appreciate your kindness, and I agree-- It is scary to be alone. May we all find the companionship and love we need. Thank you.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Xanzacow, thank you for your kind words. As I mentioned to Mona, I am extremely self-conscious about expressing myself in this way, and I am grateful and encouraged by your comments. I hope to read some of your poems sometime soon. Thanks again.

      Mike

    • Nila says profile image

      Nila D 4 years ago from USA

      Deep and Beautiful! Makes me love my loved ones more than ever. It sounds so scarey to be alone. I am sorry about yours :(

    • xanzacow profile image

      Cynthia 4 years ago from North Myrtle Beach, SC

      I agree with Mona. Beautiful! I am just now starting my hand at poetry. Yours puts mine to shame!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 4 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Mona, thank you for your kind words. I have always struggled and felt self-conscious with poetry, but I love it as an art form and I'm always interested in jumping in and trying to communicate through this means. Night time for some is a chance to rest--frequently not so for me, but occasionally something good comes from it. Thanks again.

      Mike

    • Mona Germain profile image

      Mona Germain 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Wow! Don't you love those night muses! I really enjoyed reading your potent weaving aloud. the rhyme was well done and the style suited the content. Verse 4 was a bit harder to read with the same ease of flow as the other verses but wow for using and rhyming with "rationalize"! The voice stayed true in tone and to the mood of the piece.. My favs are verses 2 and 3 "no tomorrows". Very wishful. the picture added to the nuance of the theme and atmosphere. Brilliant! Crow On!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Hi Voice! You're correct, writing about things allows us to sometimes see a situation more as others might see it. It occasionally lets us understand things in a new way. It is all too often only a momentary reprieve, but we take what we can get.

      Thank you for your kindness, Voice. I hope you had a peaceful evening, as well.

      Mike

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      Just A Voice 7 years ago

      That is the thing about writing...it lets you vent. It doesn't change the world, or even your circumstances...but sometimes, just getting it outside of your mind...well you know...as you said, it gives you a small amount of peace. A momentary reprieve. And god help us, we all need that reprieve even if for just a moment.

      Hope you are having a peaceful evening Mike, we all deserve it once in a while. :)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      George, thank you for stopping by and reading. Your comments are appreciated.

      Mike

    • George J Hardy profile image

      George J Hardy 7 years ago from Southern New Jersey

      You conveyed your mood very well, I liked the tone of melancholy.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Voice, thank you for visiting. I appreciate your interest in my writing very much, and I am pleased if it offers some meaning for you.

      The writing was very important for me, and I needed to write those words that particular night. It might not have changed anything for me, but it offered comfort and at least a few moments of peace.

      Thanks again for your kind words.

      Mike

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      Just A Voice 7 years ago

      I've come and read this poem several times. It is so beautiful in it's melancholy rememberance. I hope you got some peace in writing it outloud.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Moulik, thank you for reading and for your wonderful comments. Take care.

      Mike

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 7 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      It is you the Night Bird crying its soul for you - beautiful reading for me...

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Mia, thanks for stopping by--I am glad you enjoyed my work. I got a chance to read a few of your hubs last night and enjoyed them very much.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      AEvans, thanks for reading. It was a curious night, but the creative urges that sprung from it were significant.

      Thanks again.

      Mike

    • Momma Mia profile image

      Momma Mia 7 years ago from North Carolina

      This was also quite interesting!! Thanks for sharing!

      Wishing U Well

      Mia

    • AEvans profile image

      Julianna 7 years ago from SomeWhere Out There

      Lovely, what a beautiful poem to write in the middle of the night. :)

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      rml, thank you for the compliment, it is greatly appreciated.

      Mike

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      rml 7 years ago

      Very beautiful, you have talent.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Becca, thank you for your kind words. I still consider myself rough and raw when I compare what I write to your beautiful work. I accept your gracious compliment, however.

      Thank you again.

      Mike

    • BeccaHubbardWoods profile image

      Mizzery Chick 7 years ago from Outside your window...

      Very emotional and well worded. No more talk about being envious of poets... you write beautiful poetry, Mike. I really enjoyed this. It was a perfect mixture of beautiful and sad. : )

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      mdawson17, thank you for reading. I'm glad you enjoyed my work.

      Mike

    • profile image

      mdawson17 7 years ago

      A great poem!!

      mdawson17

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      nearbuystore.com, thanks for reading. A song? Are you referencing "kaleidoscope of faces" and likening it to the "girl with kaleidoscope eyes," or is there another song I'm forgetting?

      Thanks for commenting, and by the way--that's a catchy name.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      drbj, thanks for reading. I still don't really know what "remember the anniversaries" might mean. There is a deja vu feeling to the phrase though, and I've been trying to remember under what context I heard this phrase before--if in fact I really did.

      Thanks for leaving a comment, it is much appreciated.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      bulletproofchris, thanks for the compliment. I didn't peak with the first line though, did I? Just kidding, I am glad you liked my work.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Lady_E, I'm always pleased to find that you have read my work. I accept your comment about high spiritual vibes as a wonderful compliment. Thank you. And thanks for the kind words about my poem.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      felicitylovespari, it was quite a dream indeed. I'm glad you liked my poem enough to leave a comment. Thank you for reading.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sally's Trove (may I call you Sally?), thanks for checking in. The dream was indeed extraordinary and I still think about what it was and could mean quite a bit. And yes, we can be captured by love or imprisoned by it, and the distinction is dramatic.

      Thanks very much for your comments.

      Mike

    • nearbuystore.com profile image

      nearbuystore.com 7 years ago from Somewhere on the highway....

      Reminds me of a very nice song ...only dreams

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 7 years ago from south Florida

      Very moving, Mike. Thanks for sharing.

      Have you figured out what "remembering the anniversaries" really means to you?

    • bulletproofchris profile image

      bulletproofchris 7 years ago from hutchinson, ks

      i like the first stanza a lot, especially the first line...lovely poem.

    • Lady_E profile image

      Elena 7 years ago from London, UK

      Very interesting - I think you have high spiritual vibes. I'm glad you got the message of the Dream

      Lovely Poem. :)

    • felicitylovespari profile image

      felicitylovespari 7 years ago

      What a dream. What a poem. :)

      Felicity

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 7 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      An amazing dream (aren't they all if we choose to look at them) and an extraordinary weaving into poetry.

      "My bed—a jail made with your lies." Powerful. All of us can become imprisoned by the promise of love.

      Thanks so much.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sam, thanks for reading. The dream was extremely bizarre and a bit disorienting, but in hindsight I consider it a gift of some sort. It led me to an exploration of my moods and feelings at the moment, and I will confess to wondering if the dream itself requires further examination.

      Thanks again for reading.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Keira, thank you for reading. Your comments are very gracious and I am appreciative. I hope you have a wonderful day, as well.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Mekenzie, thanks for reading. Yeah, the poem is a bit sad. I guess I draw from my dark side a little more when working with poems. I have to admit, if I thought there was any chance of falling asleep again, I probably wouldn't have written any of this down. I knew that I was awake for the duration, however, and after the fact I am also pleased that I grabbed the book and started writing.

      Thanks very much for your comments; as always they are much appreciated.

      Mike

    • profile image

      SamAntone 7 years ago

      Mike, what a gift it is, to be able to dream like that, even if only once. And the poem is great; the inclusion of the night bird "with its lonely cry" adds a touch of genuine reality to not only the setting, but to your mood. I also love the illustration.

    • profile image

      Keira7 7 years ago

      Hi my dear Mike Lickteig, I really enjoyed this beautiful journey, very nice poem, I really love your writing. I have read it more than once and loved it more and more. Brilliant work. Thanks for sharing. Have a wonderful day my dear friend.:D

    • Mekenzie profile image

      Susan Ream 7 years ago from Michigan

      Beautiful heartfelt poetry ... your dream was so very realistic ... I'm glad you picked up your journal and caught the essense of it. Great writing sad but well done!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sue! Thanks for reading, I appreciate the good words. Let me return the compliment as well, I was catching up on a few of your hubs last evening and found them amazing!

      Thanks again.

      Mike

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      ralwus, thanks for reading. I got a good laugh with your jail bird comment--a lady broke up with me once because she preferred a guy who just got out of prison (it's a long story.....).

      Thanks for your comments, I appreciate your looking in.

      Mike

    • Sue Real profile image

      Sue Real 7 years ago from So close to Canada, I can smell the bacon.

      Thumbs up for your poem and I really liked the painting too.

      My kind of poetry.Sue Real

    • profile image

      ralwus 7 years ago

      My bed—a jail made with your lies; must have been my problem too way back in a marriage now gone. Good stuff Mike, I enjoyed it much, the poem has a 'timely' beat. Wonder what bird it was? Jail bird?

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Thank you, Kim. You set the standard for writing in ways that move us emotionally, and your gracious comments are most appreciated.

      Mike

    • profile image

      lyricsingray 7 years ago

      my fav line; that scatters my sorrows.

      Mike this was so beautiful and moved me very much

      and thank you so much for sharing it with us

      xo

      Kimberly, a friend and Fan

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sage, thanks for commenting. The poem truly did come from the depths, and you read it correctly--even the birds had vanished. The dream was so very odd, it was almost a visual abstraction. It really seemed much like a kaleidoscope of people and events, shifting in patterns before my eyes.

      I guess perhaps we sometimes shine during our weirdest moments.

      Thanks again for reading.

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 7 years ago

      Your dream to me was like your life flashing before your eyes. An audience of friends, families and many acquaintances.

      The poem felt as though it came from the depths, the very last two lines was like everyone had vanished including the birds.

      No sounds are heard, I lay alone

      The night bird wails its cry no more

      Just my thoughts, I've never been good at dream analysis.

      Needless to say, it was an interesting dream and a really terrific poem that came out of it.

      Sage

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      lovebuglena, thank you so much for your comments. I greatly appreciate your specifically mentioning my prose introduction.

      Thanks again for reading, and for your kind comments.

    • lovebuglena profile image

      Lena Kovadlo 7 years ago from Staten Island, NY

      I love this hub from the prose intro to the actual poem. It was beautifully touching and emotional. Thanks for sharing.

      All the best,

      Lena

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      She is indeed dangerous. It's kind of amusing that the pet peeve thread took over her hub about Corporate America. Maybe it is appropriate in a weird kind of way.

      I'm glad she just got your head gear, though.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      He-he-he. Well I have been communicating with her and pulling out all the fast ones..so I deserve to get shot with a bullet I guess-she is dangerous. Nothing you can help me with-your sweet Mike :) Just alone tonight and just blah.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Yeah, you gotta watch her. She shatters head gear with the best of 'em. Sorry you are blah, I wish I could help ya--you have cheered me up on many an occasion.

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Justavoice took the 5th and she hit me with a bullet and it shattered my protective head gear--so I am just blah. :(

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I'm sorry the day was blah for you, but I'm glad you came to read my poem. What was the matter? (I know, the comment field might not be the best venue to go into it...)

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      Yes, makes sense. I am no good at reading poetry. I stink at it. Today for me was kind of BLAH!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Hi, Ghosty. Sorry, didn't mean to make you sad. For me it was more a feeling of emptiness that morphed into writing about a specific person. I miss sharing my life with someone more than I miss any particular person I may have wanted to share it with. Does that make sense?

      But, yeah, today was kinda down. How are you?

      Mike

    • Ghost Whisper 77 profile image

      The IGNITER vs Corrupted Governments 7 years ago from The U.S. Government protects Nazi War Criminals

      This makes me feel sad--yearning for a long ago love...this poem makes me depressed...

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      H.C., thank you for your kind comments. I thought the picture was perfect, also.

      Thanks again.

    • H.C Porter profile image

      Holly 7 years ago from Lone Star State

      Very Beautiful Poem, and I love the picture you chose to feature at the beginning. GREAT HUB!

      hc

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Paradise7, thanks so much for reading. I am grateful for your kind words.

    • Paradise7 profile image

      Paradise7 7 years ago from Upstate New York

      What a terrific poem! Thank you!

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s, I appreciate your comments.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      seasoning, thank you for reading.

    • Mike Lickteig profile image
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      Mike Lickteig 7 years ago from Lawrence KS USA

      Sophs, thank you for reading. I appreciate your kind words.

    • I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s profile image

      I*n*v*i*c*t*u*s 7 years ago

      very beautiful..

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      seasoning 7 years ago

      brilliant, it is very inspirational also

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      sophs 7 years ago

      I love this! What a beautiful and moving poem. Great work Mike :)