In the Village

Sleeping Standing Up

As we lie down to sleep the world turns half away
   through ninety dark degrees;
      the bureau lies on the wall
and thoughts that were recumbent in the day
      rise as the others fall,
   stand up and make a forest of thick-set trees.

The armored cars of dreams, contrived to let us do
   so many a dangerous thing,
      are chugging at its edge
all camouflaged, and ready to go through
      the swiftest streams, or up a ledge
   of crumbling shale, while plates and trappings ring.

—Through turret-slits we saw the crumbs or pebbles that lay
      below the riveted flanks
      on the green forest floor,
like those clever children placed by day
      and followed to their door
   one night, at least; and in the ugly tanks
we tracked them all the night. Sometimes they disappeared,
   dissolving in the moss,
      sometimes we went too fast
and ground them underneath. How stupidly we steered
      until the night was past
   and never found out where the cottage was.