Sleep is For Other

I toil in the dreamtime
like a night manager
in a hotel without walls,
catering to clientele –
whose needs, so diverse,
rattle the rows of beds –

settling disputes and
encouraging discretion
and succeeding only
in waking exhausted.

I am like a keeper in
a hostile hostel –
trying to find a key
when there are no
doors to unlock.

(Inspired by sleepless nights and erratic dreaming, and submitted for Sammi Cox’s Weekend Writing Prompt – unlock.  Featured image is titled “Self-Portrait with Colours” although my son says it looks more like a LSD trip – I didn’t ask. Alternate title:  “I am Slowly Going Crazy”, lol.)


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Permission to write, paint, and imagine are the gifts I gave myself when chronic illness hit - a fair exchange: being for doing. Relevance is an attitude. Humour essential.

19 thoughts on “Sleep is For Other”

  1. Great lines in this one V.J. – ” a night manager in a hotel without walls” creates an image that I just can’t pin down which is such an eloquent way to describe your “toil in the dreamtime”. I’ve been having trouble sleeping lately, too, so I could really relate.

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  2. lack of sleep can be either dreamlike waking or nightmare living. your painting is haunting, reflects the words in your poetry, the demands of life intruding into the subconscious preventing good sleep patterns

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    1. It’s so true. The painting started as a doodle – me practicing drawing eyes, but then it grew to faces of my family and I wondered about the implications. This disease of mine affects my ability to get restorative sleep – it’s been a battle for a few years. Sometimes better than others. Thanks for your insight.

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  3. Although I’m so sorry for the unsettled/unsettling feelings this poem explores, I love both it and your wonderful painting — especially in combination! You are so talented, V.J.

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  4. How unsettling(lack of sleep, not the portrait!)…I hate those dreams that leave you haunted and always take place in wakeful sleep, as I like to call it. You certainly captured the feeling.

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