POETIC BLOOMINGS is a Phoenix Rising Poetry Guild site established in May 2011 to nurture and inspire the creative spirit.

Pen, proszę (Sleep, Friend), Round II

ANOTHER UPDATE ON WALT’S CONDITION:  He’s home!   🙂 “Rest and TLC rules the day. He’ll be back to okay sooner than soon. (Knowing him, it will be even sooner than that!) Thanks. Melissa”

To This Wonderful Poetic Community:

I’ve received more news on our Fearless Leader, and have been given his blessing to share with all of you here. Below is what Walt’s lovely daughter, Melissa, had to say.

“I’m not sure what my father had revealed as to his sleep disorders. He has struggled through sleep apnea as well as narcolepsy and recently restless leg syndrome and insomnia at times. I can tell you his recent situation is a bit more serious. He has had violent episodes in his sleep – punching, kicking, screaming and even flinging himself out of bed.

Last week he had one such turn and had smashed his head against the nightstand. He has a slight fracture of his skull and suffered a major concussion; he has been disoriented and very confused. The vision in his eye has been affected. The doctor suggests he may have even had a mini-stroke.

But as things progress, hopefully he will be home sometime this week. He has been comforted by your concerns and prayers. He appreciates that very much. My family thanks you all again for your friendship and support. It eases things a great deal. I will keep Marie abreast of his condition.”

And then, just later today, Melissa updated me with some good news. She believes he will be released from the hospital tomorrow (Wednesday) morning. They will have an aide available, and an Occupational Therapist. She said she saw him at lunch today, and that the swelling and bruising have gone down. He is having problems with the vision in his right eye. Melissa says, “It is blurred and is slow in clearing due to the swelling.” He is sporting an eye patch. Always knew he leaned toward being a pirate, eh?

You know our Walt …  he is frustrated because he wants to write, but the “words won’t come.”  We all know just how hard that would be on him. I’m guessing that is nearly as painful as the head injuries he suffered.

Melissa wants you all to know that Walt very much appreciates all the wishes and concern from all of you. She says they “continue to roll in,” and he is touched by the “love.”


Published on June 24:


Walt’s condition is worse than I let on yesterday.  Most of you will remember that in October of 2011, he was hospitalized for treatment for a severe sleep disorder.  He is back in the hospital again, with complications from this condition.

Walt’s daughter Melissa has kindly kept me informed, and is more than willing to pass along any prayers, poems, and well wishes to her dad.  They may be sent to wojisme@roadrunner.com .  As I told Melissa, I think that’s a great idea, and will remind him that there are those of us out here who think highly of him and miss his presence.

PLEASE KEEP ALL INFORMATION OFF FACEBOOK, as not all family members have been informed of our dear friend’s hospitalization.

Last October, Dyson McIllwain wrote the most compassionate and insightful poem for Walt.  Dyson, I hope you don’t mind my sharing it again.

Thanks to all of you for your care and compassion.

Marie Elena

(By Dyson McIllwain)

Treading to keep your head above water,
catching a lungful from time to time.
Going down too many times to count,
but you struggle to survive. You remain
alive with the words that drip with the emotion
that has always been your forte. Drowning in a sea
of night sweats and blankets tangled, and things
that go bump have you stumped as your sleeplessness
offers only anxiety and paranoia. Hold your breath
and allow rest to resuscitate your muse.
You’ve abused yourself far too long. Be strong
and let nature heal what it has destroyed.
The king is not dead, he merely sleeps.
We think it is about time.

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47 thoughts on “Pen, proszę (Sleep, Friend), Round II

  1. I’m so sorry. It must be such a torture not to be able to sleep. Marie, thank you for letting us know, and for the email address.


  3. Laurie Kolp on said:

    This is horrible. Poor Walt. I hope they can find some answers for him so he can get some rest. I will pray… thanks for letting us know!

  4. Oh dear! So sorry to hear this! Had really hoped Walt had this licked the last time. Sending healing thoughts and wishes for restorative sleep and a permanent fix going forward. Thanks for keeping us “in the loop”, Marie — and for sharing Dyson’s poem again. Loved it before… still do! So appropriate. 🙂

  5. This tears at my heart. I just feel so saddened to think of our Walt, in this condition.

    I’m so glad on the other hand that he is in good hands and I hope answers will be forthcoming for him to finally be able to get rest again.

    Love and prayers extended.

  6. Walt, I’m wishing you an answer for your health struggles that will allow you to rejuvenate both your body and your poetic spirit. Take what time you need. We’ll be here when you return. Prayers, love and lullabies.

  7. So many prayers are coming your way Walt. There is an answer and a way.

  8. janeshlensky on said:

    Walt, I’m so sorry for your rest-lessness. I’m another nocturnal being, up muddling because sleep won’t come when I call her. I’m praying for your recovery of health. I found this poem I wrote you when you were hospitalized months ago. I still think it’s true. There are volumes of poetry getting ready to sprout in you, Walt, I just know it.

    A Sabbath
    (for Walt)

    All ground has stories to tell, plots to develop,
    seeds of character lying tucked and unrealized,
    dialogues with moisture and warmth, awaiting its seventh day.
    All earth holds its life and its peace within it,
    even when it lies fallow, resting under a snowfall,
    breathing deeply, drinking seasons,

    and letting itself settle into new rhythms
    and sound sleep free of expectation,
    to be for a time without anticipation of outcomes.

    Come spring, shoots will green, planted
    or not, and winter’s wizened bulbs will swell toward bloom,
    that same silent patch of dirt reaching

    for a chance to make manifest its dreams.
    God knows. Every stretch of land,
    like everything that lives, needs time to heal—

    a long breath, a season, or a year—enough emptiness
    to hear air, smell change, taste redemption.
    Everything that lives, every story, needs a sabbath.

  9. Marie, Thanks for keeping us posted. I’m sending waves of sympathy across the ether to Walt, together with soothing music.

  10. Poetic Bloomings on said:

    You are all wonderful, kind, caring folks. Thank you.


  11. Henrietta Choplin on said:

    My heartfelt prayers and wishes for a peaceful rest and sleep, Walt!

  12. Janet on said:

    The beauty of Prayer

    They leap over oceans, mountains and plain
    Our thoughts of compassion and care
    They rise to God’s ear again and again
    oh, this is the beauty of prayer

    Life’s grievances are many and hard to explain
    But God hears each prayer that we weep
    Walt, may you sense His Presence to cheer and sustain
    And oh, may He help you sleep

    Meg, thank-you for letting us know…and Walt, you are in countless thoughts. Be well and take the time you need to be rested and restored.

  13. Thanks, Marie Elena.
    in my thoughts

  14. A Poet’s Wish

    I close my eyes
    to send you lazy thoughts
    and peaceful dreams.
    May your troubles be gone,
    love be present,
    and sleep be granted.

  15. I don’t know if Walt is going to read emails sent to the address you gave us, Marie, or this thread, or maybe both..

    I want to send him my good wishes, too. Get well soon, Walt.

    Lay down your head, constant gardener
    Let the words of prayer rhyme you to sleep
    Let the flowers you’ve grown tend to your needs

  16. Dyson, Just a perfect poem for Walt. Marie, thanks for letting us know.

  17. Hey Walt, hope you can enjoy this music. It might help – well, honestly – I’m not sure – but I like to send you something beautiful.

    It’s Eric Whitacre’s wonderful music and wonderful words called “Sleep”.

    Best wishes

  18. Poetic Bloomings on said:

    You all truly are wonderful … the thoughts, prayers, poems, music … wow.

    Sasha, you asked if Walt would see our well-wishes here, or at his e-mail address, or both. All I know for sure is that Melissa said we could contact him via his e-mail address above, and that she would be sure to pass the messages along to him. I sent her the link to this post as well.

    Warm smiles to all of you!

    Marie Elena

  19. So sorry to hear this. Sleep deprivation is a horror. The thing you want, you can’t have and you can’t escape from it alone. My prayers for quick intervention, recovery and peaceful rest.

  20. Poor Walt! I hope he is rested and feeling better soon.

  21. Marjory M thompson on said:

    Thank You Marie for letting us know so that we can in turn extend our thought and prayers toward his recovery. Appreciate you sharing the e-mail address also. Sent off a note to him this morning. MMT

  22. Pan Walt,
    I’ve added you to our prayer list. Hope that’s OK..
    Marian Squirrel

  23. Thanks for the update.
    Anybody know an online generator for pirate names?

  24. Marie and Melissa thank you so much for letting us know how Walt is doing and for letting us send our love and good wishes to him.
    Wishing Walt quick healing and we miss his words.

  25. Poetic Bloomings on said:

    I love it when the Bible speaks in haiku. 😉 A found poem:

    Come to Me, all you
    who are weary and burdened;
    I will give you rest.

    (Matthew 11:28)

    Good night, Walt. We all wish you rest.

    • Janet on said:

      Wonderful! I’ve always believed God is a poet;) Walt rest and know our prayers continue and thank-you Marie for the up-date!

    • Yes, the perfect words for him!!

      Thank you Andrea and Marie for telling us about our dear prolific friend.

      Continued prayers, hope for healing and peaceful sleep.

  26. Thanks for keeping us posted, Marie. Keeping Walt in our thoughts and sending healing wishes his way along the wires. Letting him know that his presence is missed. :-] Hope to see him back in the saddle (or would that be at the wheel of the ship?) soon! 🙂

  27. I am too new to know Walt, but I feel who he is through the poems he writes:

    Truly Walt, I hold you in the Light to heal, rest, sleep, dream, and lasso words again with a strength and love all your own.

  28. Sending continued prayers from south Texas!

  29. Goodness. Just back in town, and trying to get caught up on this news. So glad to hear Walt will be going home soon. Many, many prayers. Especially for the words to flow. Goodness. This hurts my heart.

    Walt, you are greatly loved, and fervently lifted up.

  30. Yikes, My heart and prayers go out to you and family Walt.
    Insomnia can be extremely hard to deal with. I also know what restless leg syndrome is. I can only pray and hope that God gives you the peace and rest in the midst of your situation.


  31. Poetic Bloomings on said:


    “Rest and TLC rules the day. He’ll be back to okay sooner than soon. (Knowing him, it will be even sooner than that!) Thanks. Melissa”

    I’m thankful for his wise and sweet daughters!

    Marie Elena

  32. Pingback: Finally Friday’s Freeforall « Margo Roby: Wordgathering

  33. Glad to read that you’ll soon be home. You’re in my thoughts and prayers, my friend.

  34. Sorry to hear it is more serious this time around. Walt, I know you want to get back to the normal routine but Marie Elena can hold down the fort for a while. Don’t rush it. We will gladly wait for the return of a happy, rested Walt. Enjoy a bit of time at home. Recharge. Gather words for later. Your health takes priority.

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