I blow out the candle
but the aroma of beeswax
pervades the darkened room.
I throw open the casement
but the scent of magnolia
wafts from the garden of love.
The casino nearby never closes
but lush foliage muffles
the jangle of the slots.

A stranger hostile to repose
breathes wakefulness
through captive nostrils.
At the bronchial fork a demon
lumberjack frees the airstream
of debris from the world above.
What are steel bars to the liberated sage?
In the dungeons of the lung
prisoners and jailers constantly trade places.

On the border of sleep I see
harlequins leap from the curtain
onto my childhood quilt.
A cargo of ebony toys
accompanies the comatose pharaoh
on the journey beyond luxor.
At last, like a spent scarab
a patch of sunlight makes
its way down the wall.

Douglas Smith, formerly a teacher of Anthropology at York University, is a homeopathic physician.and author of several books on alternative medicine. It is claimed (although Dissident Voice has no proof of this!) that Doug and his partner grow the best garlic in Haliburton County. Read other articles by Douglas.