The night has crept into our dreams again,
has fussed and fidgeted around the edges
of what seemed awake – was not – but felt
so true – so palpable – we almost rose up
from our beds to welcome it in open arms
and hold it close. It cannot know us better
than we know ourselves. Yet we wonder
where the darkness came from, why stars
we watched before we slept have vanished
from the skies. The pillows where we laid
our heads hold their form like plaster casts
and under each a sliver of the night awaits.
Brian Johnstone’s poems have appeared in Scotland and in over twenty countries worldwide. He has published seven poetry collections, plus a prose memoir Double Exposure (Saraband, 2017). His most recent pamphlet Juke Box Jeopardy (Red Squirrel Press, 2018) was shortlisted for the Callum MacDonald Memorial Award 2019. His latest collection, The Marks on the Map, is due out from Arc in November. He is a founder and former Director of the StAnza Poetry Festival. You can also find him here: www.brianjohnstonepoet.co.uk.