Photo: Colin Mulvany, via The Spokesman-Review. Back To All Blog Posts

Prophecy for 3:00 a.m.

A poem by Spokane’s first poet laureate, Thom Caraway.

  • October 26, 2017
  • |
  • Poetry
  • |
  • By Thom Caraway

Poet Thom Caraway was appointed Spokane’s first poet laureate in 2013. “Prophecy for 3:00 a.m.” is one of several poems he will be reading as part of Humanities Washington’s Bedtime Stories Spokane on October 27. Caraway is also a professor at Whitworth University; the editor-in-chief of the literary journal Rock & Sling, and the publisher of Sage Hill Press.


Prophecy for 3:00 a.m.


The hour’s grown late and turning

and turning against dark tomorrow

yields little sleep. Visions of closing walls

or some slithering thing, eyes in the dark,

or faint ringing bells. It doesn’t take much.

It takes nothing at all. A voice out the window,

or no voice at all. Touch or the absence of touch.

A body in the sun. No body, no sun. A candle burning

or melting in the heat. Too many words or too few,

it doesn’t matter. There will be no sleep,

in these years, that is uninterrupted. Fever dreams

of sirens and fleeing through smoke. Half-remembered

visions of flowering fire, high as an atmosphere.

All those foggy childhoods back in full color,

only now, you know hiding under the desk,

whatever words you love,

won’t save you.

Caraway will be reading as part of Bedtime Stories Spokane on October 27. More information is available here.

Humanities Washington

Get the latest news and event information from Humanities Washington, including updates on Think & Drink and Speakers Bureau events.