Reviews & Info: “Middle of the Night Poems From Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son”

Poetry from the 3:15 Experiment:
August 13, 2010 Pumice Flat Campground,
Reds Meadow, CA

The rush of the river
comes & goes in my consciousness
comes & goes downstream
uniting the mountains & the sea

We’re sleeping in the pines
beside it & above us
shooting stars unite
heaven & earth.

I wake the small boy.
It is a dark night
the sliver of moon
long ago gone

All the other campers at Pumice Flat
long ago gone to bed too.

It is dark
and it is quiet
from human intrusions

The rivers flow unimpeded
the stars light shines
w/o competition from human sources.

I wake the small boy
help him put on a hat
a jacket, his father’s Ugg boots.

Barelegged, we slide the van door open
and step outside into the
loud glittering darkness.

“Oh wow,” he says. “The sky sparkles.”

Moments earlier, when I was out by myself
a meteor streaked the sky leaving a bright trail
& we pan the heavens for more. He pees
his head craned back.
My headlamp almost falls off.

We lean into each other
balance & warmth, our chins
skyward. We spy small ones
but nothing more spectacular
than the stars & the planets
their every day majesty
gracing our view in a way
we forget about most days & nights.

The snow melts, collects, flows
the bees & beetles pollinate
the hillsides of lupine & penstamons
the pines sway in the breeze
the stars fill the sky
whether we notice it or not
so much better for us
if we do

c. Gwendolyn Alley

Gwendolyn Alley’s new book of 3:15 experiment poetry  Middle of the Night Poems from Daughter to Mother :: Mother to Son is now available from en theos press in print or ebook; it’s also at, and in stores including Bart’s Books in Ojai, Mrs Figg’s Bookworm in Camarillo, and The Best of VC Marketplace in Santa Paula.

Middle of the Night traces the journey of Gwendolyn Alley from being a daughter to becoming a mother to losing her mother from the perspective of poems written at 3:15am in August from 2002-2010 as part of the international 3:15am poetry writing experiment.

Read more sample poems from Middle of the Night.

Read a review of Middle of the Night Poems by Robert Peake.

Read a review of Middle of the Night Poems by Danika Dinsmore.

Middle of the Night is dedicated to Gwendolyn’s mother Suzanne Lawrence who died July 30, 2010 and to poet, blogger and friend  Paul Squires aka GingaTao who died June 28, 2010.

The cover photo of a shooting star is by Alan Sailer; he also did the painting of the 3:15am clock on Gwendolyn’s pregnant belly. Author photo by Marshall Sheridan. Book and cover design by Tod McCoy of en theos press.


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