ma’s lullaby
the rustling moonlight
weaves a dream

Jayashree Maniyil


A delightful mix of imagery along with the effective use of synaesthesia and subtle personification combine to suggest the dreamy state of drifting off to sleep – quite remarkable. One feels the emotional and physical comfort of these moments; how wonderful it must be as a child to be sung to sleep. I learn from the poet that the rustling moonlight comes through an open window, filtered through the breeze ruffled leaves of a nearby tree and reflected on the wall. Shared with us here as a childhood memory, we can easily imagine in such sleepy state that the gentle motions of dappled moonlight on the wall are themselves rustling with sound. Mixing the visual and auditory senses in this way reminds us of the way the mind slips into different modes of consciousness between wakefulness and sleep, where sights and sounds take on new meanings and different rules of thought apply; ma’s lullaby and the rustling moonlight together contriving to weave this dream, and a lovely one at that.


First published: Presence # 52, 2015

Selection and comments by Simon Hanson

%d bloggers like this: