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.)


There, There

I wrestle with sleep –
need overpowered by unease,
senses on high alert,
as if a child
trying to intuit
the degree of volatility
in father’s drunken slur

what will it take
to find rest,
to reassure
the littles
that the tyrant is gone

and life will unfold
as it will
without the stress
of constant monitoring.


so tired…

the heaviness of slumber
settles on me like a straight jacket –
no point resisting…

was it a poisoned apple
that struck me so –
or is this exhaustion

of what….
a soul aspiring to flight
weighted down by sensitivity…

an ego tied to ideals
no more salient than balloons
whose once inflated bodies
now pollute the landscape…

I am withered…


breath shallow…

pulse irregular…

cursing the elusiveness of sleep…

suspended in a tortuous limbo,
mocked by vitality,
scorned by ambition,
loathed by the hale…

is there purpose
to this perpetual cycle…
a message
carved within the walls
of this fleshy tomb…
cryptic whispers
buried deep beneath
the hardening layers of fog…

no strength here
to decipher riddles…
encumbered by lassitude,
like an iron blanket
smothering desire…

even weeds will push
through concrete barriers
follow the sun’s rays
to find life…

why then can’t I…

…so tired….

(Image from personal collection)












Sorrow’s Vigil

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
when the light of day has faded,
and the noise of life subsided,
and all the world is slumbering.

Then my heart beats with a single
lone drum, a heaviness weighing
on me, chest punctured with grief,
distractions losing their hold.

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
a deep-seated darkness, void of
hope, the deafening echo of unshed
tears, the brutality of solitude.

When all have surrendered to dreams,
my soul – tired of the daily effort to be
courageous, to smile when I want to
rage, to protect my beloveds – weeps.

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
the grief of knowing that this defective
existence is too much for others to
bear, whose hearts have glazed over,

who will me to wellness, shake
their heads, and spew frustration,
as if I am somehow an accomplice
in this state of vile stagnation,

There is sorrow in the nighttime,
when questions rob me of sleep,
and the passage of time fails to
ease the injustice of so much loss.

And while acceptance is the best
progress, and I know that faith
will sustain me, they are fickle
companions when the sun sets.

There is sorrow in the nighttime
a restless amalgamation of so
much emotional angst, with no
shelter for relief…


Come Back, Mr. Sandman

He’s comes each day at seven,
wearing the cloak of night
humming a lulling lullaby
hypnotically taunting me
with the dance of fatigue.

I resist, of course,
too early for sleep,
brush off his advances
busy myself, pretending
he doesn’t matter to me.

He pulls me onto the bed
lures me with shady promises
Just close your eyes, Love,
rest your weary head awhile;
I won’t keep you long.

I push away, incensed
by the indecency of it –
no one goes to bed so early!
What does he think I am?
Who does he think I am?

He shrugs and tips his hat
letting himself out as
quietly as he came.
See you tomorrow Babe;
you know I’ll be back.

I shake off his residue
slap myself out of his reverie,
ready myself for another night –
of what – monotonous routine?
Did I really have a better plan?

By ten I’ve caught up on the pvr
and restlessness sets in –
should I start a new book,
sketch a thing or two,
or eat to ease the blahs?

I choose, instead, to write
this silly poem, hoping to
soothe this aching regret
for chasing away the Sandman
I’ve bought myself a guarantee
that slumber will not be mine.


Day 257 “Watercourse”

You’d think that sleep would be my friend.
Like a lover she would seduce me,
lulling me into her black oblivion,
coaxing me into her ocean of darkness
a current of ever-changing images
gently rocking and soothing:

You’d think that sleep would be my friend,
But she is a multi-armed demon
tossing me from shore to shore
taunting me with her liquid blackness
abandoning me, exhausted and spent
the last laps of receding tide washing over me,
as dawn’s first rays ignite.

If sleep is an ocean,
then I am the castaway,

How did this shipwreck occur?
What sin did I perpetuate,
To set me on this tumultuous course.
What sacrifice must my soul make
For sleep to once again be my friend?