4:00 AM Madness

Startled, I awaken in an anxiety born stupor. It's 4:00 a.m.Sunday morning. In the distance a siren announces a 911 while a car alarm bellows out of control. Cars race an uncontrollable rage through empty streets. Light flickers through my window yet I know there is no light outside other than the moon displaying it's devilish grin. Is it a warning? I scare myself into blind paralysis. Staring into oblivion my body is frozen with fear. The incessant ticking of the clock - a breathing crescendo drowning my pulse. Paper rustling outside my door though the wind silent. Is it the house settling? A raccoon rummaging? Or, is it my mind damning my sensibilities? 

Haunting memories invade speaking to me in tongues, unexplained. Nocturnal entities without form parade the darkness. I shrink under the covers yet the unheard and unseen more frightening than the perception of reality I cannot escape. A sudden scream wails from a neighboring house and my senses freeze. It becomes difficult to breathe and my body shivers. Fear surrounds me. I sit up in my bed afraid of what torture lies ahead within my mind, outside my door. The wooden gate within the yard slams shut. Still, there is no wind. My heart races. Each nerve a pulsating tendril. Embraced by fear all I can do is wait for the arrival of day. 

The first commuter train barrels down the street and I know dawn is near. The distinct sound of a plane overhead reminds me of a friend half a world away and I smile. The restlessness of the night fades and I fall into an apprehensive slumber knowing there was something out there, but what? 

Tired, I awaken from a dream of which I cannot recall. For some reason my ex weighs heavily on my mind though I don't know why. Maybe it's because I miss the perfect yellow rose I'd receive every Sunday morning. I walk across the room and open my door to the courtyard breathing in the crisp fragrant floral foliage. The sun shines with a positive arrogance leaving me optimistic of the day's journey. Stepping outside I find perched upon my doorstep, a withered yellow rose.

-Joanne Olivieri


Joanne Olivieri is an accomplished Author/Poet/Photographer and Editor. Her poetry has been published in numerous poetry anthologies and print and online publications, such as The San Diego Arts and Poets Magazine, Jerry Jazz Musician,Haikuuniverse.comBlack Poppy ReviewPPP Ezine - Read my interview at PPP EzineThe Art and Craft of Poetry by Joanne Olivieri at PPP Ezine, Shadows Ink Chapbooks, SP Quill Magazine, SoMa Literary Review, Things Asian Online Travel Website,Tango Diva,the India based Eternity Magazine, The Hong Kong based Terracotta Typewriter and many more.  She was the featured poet for April 2014 in Coalesce Lit Mag. Joanne's poem "Symphony Of Lights" from her chapbook Red Lanterns was chosen as one of the 300 Short Listed Entries in the initial round of the Cathay Pacific Airways - 100 Reasons We Love Hong Kong contest for July 2007. As a result, Joanne was awarded a round trip ticket to Hong Kong for her winning entry.