Robert Bly
Winter Nights

   How easily the winter nights urge us on 
To sink deep into sleep, and once down
Roll over and over on the floor of night. 

Forty-five dreamers crowd into our bed
At night; forty of them don’t belong there. 
The other five are repeating dreamers. 

How easily the winter nights urge us on 
To abandon the bedposts, and go to sea
Looking for the island Robinson Crusoe never found. 

How many days we stand on the deck
Surrounded by drunken seamen and old ropes, 
Trying to recall the port we are sailing to. 

It is so easy to give thanks to the night. 
We give thanks to our bones for stretching out, 
And feel gratitude to our little toes. 

You know what it’s like! At midnight
The bar closes, the tables are stacked together, 
And all the drunkards are thrown out.

Found In Volume 42, No. 01
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Robert Bly
About the Author

Robert Bly’s newest book is Talking Into the Ear of a Donkey (WW Norton & Co, 2011).