The Prospect of the Highland Dusk to Dawn – Michael Sharkey

How the light, for instance, takes its leave
of silky darkness that moves in on padded feet
below the hills: the moon through cloud’s
an aspirin tablet in a glass of water,
then a crescent over nimbus of the halogen lights
fading on the dipstick-haunted streets.
In clubs, apprentices and undergrads keep toy drinks up
to cuties while the deejay drops the standards all night long;
as sky turns tepid, garbage lorries sigh and lurch like drunks
from house to house as revellers shamble home
below the kookaburras’ chorus shouting limits and the day.
Indoors last night’s real or would-be lovers seek compassion
in the mirrors framing smooth trade, rough-nuts, good boys
and good girls, all midnight’s chancers, parents’ hopes.
Time sheets and the bundy clocks will not record the moment
that we wake up to ourselves.
And magpies sing, and schoolkid zombies make
somnambulistic ballet steps to kitchens,
tugging bumblebee-striped jackets on, and yawning.
Outside, moisture clings to fried-egg bush and buddleia,
where spiders quit their shifts and snack in shade.
The sun licks irises and roses into shape,
while sing-song voices prattle news of war and sport,
and pale ink wash on water-paper sky turns Wedgwood blue.