I’ve been having a recurrence of my sleep issues … it’s all that’s on my mind of late. So to exorcize those demons, I’m asking for sleep poems. Poems about sleep, not to put me to sleep. Getting the words out of my system may have great effect.
Not to Mention the Smell of Wet Wool Thought by now I’d be asleep, but I’m not, because these sheep will not let me close my eyes, will not sing me lullabies, gripe and whine and bleat and cry, in from rain, they then drip-dry on my pillow and bedspread, on my PJs and my head, arguing amongst themselves, busting up my bedroom shelves, dancing with their noisy hooves, (must admit they’ve got the moves)… I could just go on and on. Woe to me, here comes the dawn. Counting sheep must be unwise. Next time, I’ll just close my eyes. © Marie Elena Good, 2023
THE SLEEP NAZI (No sleep for you!) Tossing, turning, yearning for the rest I crave. Save me from this tossing, turning. Burning the midnight oil, toiling, spoiling my need for sleep. Keeping, weeping for relief my belief is tossing, turning, is churning in my head. Stuck in this bed without a clue what to do, how do you keep asleep while I’m tossing, turning, discerning my plight I’ve been up all night learning, returning to my tossing, turning. Sandman fighting, Bed bugs biting, I’m begging on my knees, please, oh pleazzzzzzzzzzzz. WHAT WAS THAT? Tossing, turning. (C) Walter J. Wojtanik
67 thoughts on “PROMPT #420 – TO SLEEP, PERCHANCE”
I’m assuming this is Walt with recurrent sleep issues and not Marie?
Yes, it’s our Walt. Doggone it. He suffers with this quite a lot.
I was recently diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea (yay). So, this subject has been on my mind as well.
Oh no! That sounds no fun at all. I’m so sorry, Benjamin!
Ben, mine was severe! Found after surgery. But to the point, totally doable if you focus on overall health benefits. Fingers crossed for you!!!
have you forsaken me!
have you abandoned
to the pit
to the drool
of long dark
me as I
hunt for sleep
as they keep
In the deep
lift my eyes
as they begin
as the earth
turns about on
but the story
©️ Benjamin Thomas
The long, slim form used here suggests a dripping faucet. Maybe that would help, come to think on it.
Oh my. I FEEL this with you. 😦
I hope things improve for you, Benjamin. Very frustrating.
Here lies Willy Boy Wright,
decidedly dead of sestina fright.
He was found
in a sleep so sound
that Lucifer danced around
with all his might,
but could not excite
him to rise up and write.
Defeated by the terrors
of thirty-nine lines,
he had made many errors
within its confines
and had dropped on the floor
at line thirty-four.
He used to say, dejectedly,
“a sestina will be the death of me.”
Wright was right.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh, too true for me, too!!! Thanks for the laughs, Bill! I read it twice!
That is one form I try to avoid. Great poem, William!
Lesser of Two Evils
Insomnia plagued me through the years
Bringing me often to wee AM tears
I made a decision that made doctors quiver
I chose between insomnia and risking my liver
So now each night I take Tylenol PM
And manage to go beyond the REM
Smiling here. Thanks for this, and I’ll bet Johnson & Johnson thank you too.
Yikes. I’m sorry you struggled so.
I know many people who take Tylenol PM. If it helps, it helps.
WHO NEEDS MELATONIN?
I’ve found me a cure for my sleepy-time issues
that doesn’t require lots of pills or warm tissues.
It works like a charm when I’m trying to sleep;
in fact, the result is a slumber so deep
that a siren could sound at the foot of my bed
and I’d still be unmoving, much deader than dead.
So here’s what I do when deep sleep eludes me:
I give me a dose of me own poetry.
HA!! Cute and comical, but lies, lies, lies! 😉
Ha! That would never work.
Maybe you could trade the sheep for some goats, Marie.
I can’t imagine goats being quieter or less intrusive. 😉
Walt, your tosses and turns are worthy of a salad. Can’t stop chuckling here.
William, love your solution to insomnia!
through nights, dark and deep,
there are many who fret,
unable to sleep,
and one aches for them, yet
for others it’s the reverse,
the struggle of night,
an opposite curse,
one hurtful, with fright.
It’s the nature, you see,
the battle for some,
those with PTSD,
whose morning can’t come
soon enough to be free
of the nightmares and pain,
the frustration dreams,
the panic again,
and as good as it seems,
waking still won’t avail,
because you know what they say,
it’s a life sentence, this PTSD jail,
during the night or the day.
They say that,to understand a person, one needs to walk in that person’s shoes. Or, in this case, be in that person’s head. Most of us could never be there, however, nor would want to, I suspect. “Jail” is so salient in this poem. The rhyming acts as punctuation in this piece, and is skillfully done, in my opinion.
Oh dear friend, I can’t even imagine. Your words cut right to the heart.
Well done, Daniel.
after evening news
and the reading
of a good chapter
a lush room
my home for the night
when touched by dreams
I can be
a hero or a villain
or any character
while lying in bed
and devil’s lake rests
just miles away
sweet sounds of silence
while the passing moon
ghosts a cloud
outside my window
EXCELLENT, Mike. Especially the final stanza.
Agree with Marie and William. Love that last stanza!
Walt, you’ve been dealing with this far too long. My heart goes out to you. 😦
FAR AWAY SIGHT
before the mind becomes
put it to
an imagination test
at the very best
an absolutely amazing sight
real or imagined
fashioned by you
on this night
perhaps a wander
by still waters
a lazy sea
full of otters
a palm tree in the sand
holding a very
remembering something wonderful
only you two
a fond place to just drift
absent of rifts
allow yourself to float
in the water
in a boat
nothing to work on
nothing to fix
free of any
of the age old
a conscious letting go
this you know
just give your mind
enough of a break
just go fishing
in your favorite lake
put those worries
off to the side
leave them alone
maybe they’ll hide
give yourself total permission
to create your space
no fair using the kitchen
see all the beautiful colors
wherever you go
immerse yourself in each
then go seek
that sandy beach
feel that new energy wash over you
let it soothe
and comfort, too
by then you’re in sleepy land
a lovely place
on the warmth of sand
and sleeping tight
my guess is
you’ll sleep peacefully
(c) Janet Rice Carnahan 2023
“No fair using the kitchen” caught me off guard and made me giggle. 😉
You had me at the beach!
I wrote this just a few days ago about a disturbing dream I had … I tamed it down somewhat because the encounter with the bear kept me awake the rest of the night.
When the Moon is Full
Stars can be shining bright
But I can sleep…
Even a crescent moon
Does not keep me awake.
But when the moon is full…
The light disturbs my sleep, and
The shadows in my forest
Seem to move and mutate
As the trees stand guard
Cloaked in silver.
I went to sleep restless,
But yet I fell deep into the abyss
Of deep sleep with no chance
To escape what dreams awaited me.
I found myself walking up my hill
While I slept, and I looked down
And I was wearing my purple
Slinkey night gown that flowed around me.
I asked myself,
“Did I get out of bed?”
But I heard myself snore
And knew I was still asleep.
There the moon sat high in the sky,
And I heard the deep whooo
Of the owl that ruled the night.
I started to sit down,
And there before me was a bear…
More brown than black…
He huffed a warning at me,
And I stood still
For I wanted to know
From where he came…
Was he the bear
That lives in my forest?
Others have seen him, but I have not.
He walked slowly towards me,
And I felt I should flee, but
My feet were stuck in mud
That I had not known was there before.
I felt in my pocket…
A key made of gold,
But wait my nightgown
Had no pocket, and
I don’t remember owning a key of gold.
The bear came closer, and
I held out the key.
He sniffed it in my hand,
And turned to walk away.
The owl flew close to me
And whispered in his deep owl’s voice.
“Remember to keep that key close,
For it is the knowledge you possess.
It will keep you save,”
And then he took to flight
Under the full moon,
And as his wings moved silently
He glowed silver in the moon’s light.
I felt the butt of a head against my arm,
And I woke up
For there was my cat Binkey
Wanting his head rubbed
Which he got
While I pondered the meaning
Of the encounter with the bear, and
The words of the owl.
Mary Elizabeth Todd
January 5, 2023
Goodness sakes. This dream is eerily fascinating. Thank you for sharing it!
thank you and I often have strange dreams
Reminds me of some native people’s legends.
That is one intriguing dream, Mary. Thanks for sharing.
Asleep in a Fairy Tale
lost her sheep,
and could not
go to sleep.
slept a long time
She was shrewdly
awaiting kiss of a prince.
Snow White slept well
after fear and escape.
The dwarves treated her swell,
unbeknownst to queen with lying mirror.
Rip Van Winkel, simple farmer
strolled in to the Catskills.
Met some gnomes. It was his karma
to drink their spirits and sleep twenty years.
What a creative take on the prompt, Sara! I would never have thought of going this route with it. Love it!
Such delightful vignettes on the prompt!!
Such thorough delights these are! Good to see “gnomes” again.
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Hi happy Monday here is mine~
Nine hours of growth…. fascinating.
It started almost a decade ago
After a 5 bypass surgery
My mind would beg me for sleep
But my body refused to be weary
Still I’d try to get comfy on my left side
Then again I would try on my right
Finally I would find that position
But it never ever lasted all night
For two hours or sometimes three
Nothing moved on my side of the bed
My breathing was so shallow my wife
Would shake me to make sure I wasn’t dead
Then like clockwork I’d wake from my sleep
Body aches had returned like bad friends
No way was I gonna get comfortable
Had to move around ‘til the body aches end
Usually one or two hours would pass
By this time I was in my man chair
I’d curl up with my blanket and pillow and
Spend the next couple hours right there
This messed up sleep schedule demanded
An afternoon nap to fight the tired
I’ve sort of gotten used to this sleep routine
I just thank God that I’m retired
Sounds like an incremental eight hours.
It takes hours away
From the short time we have down here
We won’t need sleep in Heaven
Now I lay me down to sleep
Diabetic socks upon my feet
To mask my toe neuropathy
In hopes good sleep will come to me
I hit the button to raise my bed
My Pillow fluffed under my head
My Sleep Number set at an even 60
Too hard for mom, but just right for me
A small pillow tucked between my knees
Vicks on my nose so I won’t sneeze
Snuggled in just like I wanna
Wrapped up like an enchilada
Ceiling fan provides air flow
Floor fan white noise helps, you know
Drifting off, almost asleep
Darn, forgot to brush my teeth.
Delightful romp through familiar territory.
I love this, Earl, especially the image of the enchilada.
Jordan Branch sleeps
through the misty morning
water not even breathing
no current singing beneath
the old country bridge
surface still as death
its glassy eye reflecting
watery sun high cloud
even though wide-eyed
deer and cattle graze neighboring fields
circling round bales the last soybean
Hawks scream overhead
and I wonder how they slept
if the hooting of owls
is lullaby or cacophony
if the descant of the coyote
music or only yowling
ponder too if in the deer blind
the buy who parked his silver 4×4
on the road dozed his way through the chill
of a Kansas dawn rifle drooping
in his gloved hands
and if turtles below skim ice
slumber in their winter stupors
dreaming of spring tadpoles
the swam of errant mayflies
so many kinds of sleep keeping me
Captivating. Punch line included.
Great poem and ending, Pat!
Thank you! Fingerling creeks around here with amazing names kinda get things going! Thanks!!
This is the actual dream… I had this just before Christmas
The Night of the Bear
(The Dream I did not dare to say)
I was out in the cold,
I was shivering in the rain
That pelted me like tiny spears…
And I knew that rain would
Soon be freezing…
I was hurrying in the dark
Where no moon or stars
Could penetrate the storm
I dropped my flashlight
My only hope of getting home.
It rolled off the road
Into the deep ravine
That I knew was the hollow.
I reminded myself
If I just stayed on the road
I would eventually see the light
At the corner of my house,
That is if the power was still on.
I dreamed of taking a hot bath,
And feeling my bones warm,
But I reminded myself
That was still a ways to go.
The trees like lace against the dark sky
Were more like cobwebs than lace…
I knew I should not have walked out,
But I needed to clear my heart’s mind…
And instead, I was stranded
In total darkness
With no answers in sight.
I was getting closer.
Then lumbering in the road,
Was a big brown bear
That when he saw me
Stood on his hind feet
While slapping if front paws together.
He led out a roar…
That echo through the dark
And bounced off the trees,
And all I could see was his teeth gleaming.
I heard my mind shout,
“Wake up; Wake UP!”
But I did not listen…
I was frozen in place
As the storm raged
And I knew this was something
That I must face.
I was still as a statue,
And heard again
My mind whimper,
“Wake up, please.”
But I didn’t.
The bear dropped on all fours,
And began to huff,
Which I knew was a warning.
He bounced side to side,
And mesmerized in fear
I watched with eyes unblinking.
He started to charge but stopped,
And instead, ambled up to me,
And in my face roared.
MY eyes grew steady,
And I looked into the eyes
Of the bear, and knew
I would not go down without fighting.
He looked into my eyes
Fierce with fear
Because fighters fear,
While warriors fight with purpose,
I was a warrior.
It was eye to eye this battle was fought,
And in the end,
He huffed in my face, and
I thought he needed to brush his teeth,
And smiled at that thought.
He walked beside me into the dark,
And I felt life flowing through me.
There up ahead was my blue flashlight
Laying in the middle of the road.
I grabbed it up and headed on home…
Tired but thankful
For the journey
That reminded me who I was.
It was then I woke up,
In a house with total darkness.
I have pondered this for weeks, and
Knew again that I would survive
Whatever life threw at me.
Until that day
I simply closed my eyes and went home.
Mary Elizabeth Todd
January 11, 2023
Marie: Such a sweet poem. Love the rhyming!
Walt: Feel that tossing and turning. So sorry you are plagued with this once again.
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