The Friday Poem
We chose ‘Down Time’ by Chris Jones for The Friday Poem because we like its wry humour, its friendly, conversational tone, and the lovely pay off in the last line. Jones uses a range of poetic devices to construct a tidy machine of a poem, but still manages to retain an atmosphere of relaxed intimacy. The more we read it the more we like it.
You used to joke you were a champion sleeper
a heavyweight, the kind who’d knuckle down
to eight hour shifts without so much as a peep;
reel wide-screen dreams before you drifted round.
You had a knack for kipping daytime too:
shut-eye on the sofa, spark out on the grass
by slides and swings, or crashed beneath a duvet
as sunlight chimed like crystal cut glass.
These days you read how sleep restores the health
solves heady problems, makes you brighter, thinner.
You plot a future where you’ll pace yourself
the length of middle age, a distance swimmer
at ease as much in one immersive fold
as gulping air, your eyes full up with sky.
You’ll slow the long device of growing old.
Get to doze and doze and never die.