The Light Beneath Sleep

Sometimes, underneath deep sleep
is a certain diffused glow,
as, in the rainforest, luminous toadstools
glow green among the leaf litter
and beetles crawl about with winking abdomens.
One night when I followed this glow
I came to an upturned tree
that was a kind of cathedral for glowworms
and the light beat against my face, my chest and my hands.
At the end of the corridor of sleep, a dream stands.
It may be that at the end of the corridor of death
there is the walking slightly uphill
through the green fields;
and then the light underneath sleep
is both in front and behind.

— John Tarrant
Winter Solstice, 1999