A Seven Sundays Sleep

Under cloudless, quiet skies
Silence like a blanket lies,
While from the woods hushed shadows creep
To beckon minds to dream and sleep
And wake into a noiseless day
Where time begins to stretch and fray,
Where seconds, minutes, pass like hours
As slowly as unfolding flowers.

Beyond the woods, below the hill,
The town is peaceful now and still,
And quiet minds unfurl to fill
With dreams that flow and slow and seep
Through this, a seven Sundays sleep.


David Edwards Hulme, May, 2020.


As the Covid lockdown began, the world seemed to settle into silence – a disturbing and worrying silence for those of us living in towns and cities and used to the daily bustle.   I live a few miles away from an airport, and the sudden absence of aircraft was at once welcome but worrying.  No more 7am take-offs acting as a noisy alarm call – but a silent signal that borders were closing as countries moved to protect themselves against the virus.

Those suddenly furloughed or who had lost their job probably found themselves sleeping more than usual – and if they were a town-dweller, getting used to a quiet village atmosphere as the roads as well as the skies emptied.  Without a shift pattern or a deadline to keep to, time seemed to slow, too.

Around 30 years ago I’d tried to write a poem based on the concept that living in a village would be like a seven Sundays week – every day much like another and as peaceful as Sunday itself.   I could never get the poem to work.  I was on the way to a broadcasting course in London and not really in the zone, and I put the idea aside.  

All these years later, and as the lockdown intensified, I remembered that concept of a week of Sundays – but flipped the idea of a week to that of sleep, and the feeling that the whole world was now a sleepy village.   This is how the poem came about.