The village is asleep when I sneak out
to see the silence lean on houses,
some chimneys smoke, but people are still in their beds,
a quiet damp of warmth hangs over all those rooftops
and under every rooftop a different dream is dreamt, a secret kept.
Somewhere a child is getting born. And someone dies.
And then the first dog barks. Another follows soon.
A car is starting engine. A ship blows its low whistle
and the church bells ring. The new-born cries.
Sea gulls are screaming loud above this all, the noise is now a steady.
This is my home, where clotted silence overrules the whispered voices of the night
until it’s dawn
and children start their lives whenever they are ready.