Before Sleep I Go Outside by Jeanne Lohmann

What is more beautiful than Orion and the stars
seen through the bare limbs of an oak?

What too is more beautiful than winter clouds in a rush
over the face of the moon, when the mind gives way

and the supple body slows, the heart grown ready
to make the experiment: to be lifted and stretched

by measureless new dimensions? All that I have said
and heard recedes, pulled into space where there are no

words, my head quiet and at rest, leaning back
against a corner of the garage, under this night sky

and the far stars where my thirsty eyes drink as from
a pitcher that pours and pours and does not empty.

Before Sleep I Go Outside

Perhaps a little cold for going outside these nights, but I have done it in winter just to see the stars which never fail to awe me. I appreciate Jeanne Lohmann’s quiet way of asking what is more beautiful than Orion and the stars seen through the bare limbs of an oak? And the repeated question in what too is more beautiful than winter clouds? What, indeed?

With the moon and clouds and stars, the mind gives way / and the supple body slows, letting the heart be lifted and stretched / by measureless new dimensions. Surely you have felt that heart opening, body softening that comes with gazing up at the vast night sky, that immeasurable world so far away yet appearing so close.

In this place, all else recedes, pulled into space where there are no / words. Here our minds can grow silent, reflective as we drink these stars as from / a pitcher that pours and pours and does not empty. Such a gorgeous image! Here is the bottomless source of wonder and beauty, filling us with peacefulness before sleep. If the curtain of clouds is pulled back tonight, look up, even through your frosted window for the magic of the winter night sky.

13 thoughts on “Before Sleep I Go Outside by Jeanne Lohmann

  1. Good point. Can’t say I have tried this before but I will give it a shot. I will have to many layers on to go out in the cold but it just might help all my inner healing layers, Right??

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you….” and the far stars where my thirsty eyes drink as from
    a pitcher that pours and pours and does not empty” – makes me think about never being ’empty’ when we re-member how nature is always offering/giving us opportunities to re-cognize that ’empty’, while it may feel so real sometimes, is an idea – not a truth. much love x0

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So many gorgeous, uplifting lines! And then that word garage…to ground it and juxtapose…but maybe also show how it all integrates into boots-on-the-ground life. Brava to her, and thanks once again to you!

    Like

  4. What a beautiful poem. Even though I don’t enjoy the cold, it is always worth it to go outside on a clear, crisp night and look at the beauty of the stars.

    Like

  5. I love this poem. It is so universal. I have a friend who is 95 years old and before she goes to bed at night she has always steps out on her front step and takes a look at the sky with stars and moon .

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Love this. My trainer has me do “outside time”, and sometimes I’ll wrap myself up in blankets and sit in the backyard for 10 or 20 minutes. The solar lights flicker on one-by-one, and the moon is somehow always visible. Brief periods of cold feed me.
    On Christmas morning after we’ve consumed the popovers and coffee and have opened the gifts, I’ll take another coffee out to the front verandah and spend it alone “with my Dad”, who died 17 years ago. The family knows not to disturb me. It’s incredibly peaceful.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s