Virginia Woolf's Insomnia

January 1941
All my spectres come out on a sleepless night.
Diary II
Night's a medieval carol--insular
     and superstitious--head a white vapor,
legs bent candles, the elms pulsing

their red omens on the dark, dove-fastened
     Downs. Look your last
on all things lovely,

back in the habitable world of day.
     The new year's a closed door,
she and Leonard cowering beneath dormers,

German planes dragging their terrible,
     crescendic scales up over Monk's House--
--never truly away--"We shall be broken

together." Where once wine flashed
     citrine and crimson in sceptered glasses,
water speaks now on the wavering wall,

as the Gods who must, when they have created
     happiness, grudge it, and the voices
of the dead begin, thin, milky, gnawing

at the nape, one thing tunneling
     into the next (ever writing to rhythm,
not plot), as in London, visiting the bombed

flat, she tasted in her mouth the blasted,
     white dust of bricks that were her walls,
carressing her grief with walking

through the City's char and gash, exquisitely
     wounded. Wind blows hungrily over the bed,
the voices tune up in the pit--and pain,

the first stage of intimacy, presides.
     She craves a kiss--a whole flutter
from the inner wrist to the elbow, the stumble

of the warm stone of her own voice, singing out
     ahead over the river's restless avenue
that she cannot help but follow.