Dormouse Summer

When one subtracts from life infancy (which is vegetation), sleep, eating and swilling, buttoning and unbuttoning –
how much remains of downright existence? The summer of a dormouse. Byron, Journal 7 December 1813

Missing the small moment of warmth
and possibility: is it the greatest fault?

What I do to maintain myself: a few
habits of solitude and unbundled filth.

Buttoning and unbuttoning, the clothes
make their own time, expandable and fluid.

What is history but a straw in the wind,
a bird making a nest, a toot on a flute.

Existing for its own sake: how many moments
make up this tiny summer as it folds?

I can eat my own weight over again,
I can become a giant in my own field.

Sleep has a call on life: is it the genuine
purpose, to build a darkness where we float?

“That’s the secret,” says the dormouse,
“Falling into the void is the start of flight.”



Peter Daniels has now had his third collection, My Tin Watermelon, published by Salt.  He has also translated Russian poetry and written obscene poems. Website: