Brian Johnstone: a poem



Night's Take


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.