Category Archives: Sleep

The Edge


(If you are reading this poem in The Reader, please click on the title “The Edge” above to go to my page to read it as the Reader cancels out the line spacing  and this is a shape poem. )

The Edge

        Moving between
        the edges
        of my life,
         I have railed against sleep,
        not knowing how long
        the journey between them
        might be.

At three,
I rebelled against naps,
craving the daylight adventures
lost to them.

At sixty-eight,
I fight off sleep in the wee hours,
hoping to gain a little bit more time
in a life whose furthest rim I am approaching.

I needed my naps more than the other girls,
my mother always professed,
not knowing all the long nights I stayed awake even then,
trying to win back the time lost to them.

Dawn–by Jan Arnold (Guest Blogger)

Jan Arnold wrote this wonderful response to my poem, “Sacrificial Offering.”  Because she doesn’t have a blog, she sent it as a comment; but since some don’t read comments or perhaps read my poem before she sent this, I wanted, with her permission, to make a special post for it.

red dawn 2 red dawn
photos by Jan Arnold


I read your words and wonder why
You chose to miss each morning sky
And in exhaustion there you lie
Upon your rumbled bed.

You laud the quiet of the night;
Distractions gone and you are right.
Each day brings brain fog that you fight.
I think you are misled.

Your body needs its nightly sleep,
Circadian rhythms, REM that’s deep
To heal, refresh and health to keep.
That is what I’ve read.

So toss that nagging clock alarm;
Sleep deprivation causes harm.
Think of your South Dakota farm
And rise to see dawn’s red.

Those predawn early morning hours
Are quiet with creative powers.
A muse denied, oh how she glowers.
Give dawn a try.

Predawn and sunrise feed the soul
With inspiration new and whole.
She awaits you and your hyperbole.
Say yes, you will not die.

You’ll blog in dark but let it be
After sleep has welcomed thee;
And you have awoken naturally:
Alert! Just wait and see.

I guarantee you’ll not be dry.
The words will come and thoughts will fly.
You will adjust come by and by.
Can you agree?

I’ll wait and see.

–Jan Arnold


Disinclination (Sleep Phobia)

Disinclination (Sleep Phobia)

I hate to give the day up.  There’s so much left to do.
I like the sky when midnight black is its only hue.
No interruptions on the phone. No meetings, no last chore.
It’s days that contain all the rules.  Days are such a bore!
At night I watch Doc Martin or read the blogs of others.
It always would be dark outside if I had my druthers.

I resist sleep when first it comes knocking at my door.
I put it off and fight it, sometimes ’til three or four.
At night it seems like such a shame to waste my life in sleep,
yet in the morning I find those convictions hard to keep.
When the alarm bell rings if I could choose, I find I would
go back to sleep, for suddenly my bed feels really good!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “To Sleep, Perchance to Dream.”




And here is my very favorite dream—one that really did change my entire life: :

Weekly Photo Prompt: Dreamy—A misty morning, your handsome spouse, your grandmother’s house that’s also your elementary school and the Eiffel Tower — this week, show us something dreamy.

If I Followed the Wandering Poet

If I Followed the Wandering Poet

Who cares
if I swim naked in my pool?
All other human occupants
have left this neighborhood behind,
leaving more room
for possums, skunks,
birds, scorpions, spiders
and me.

I keep a closer company with them
than I do with any human these days.
Weeks ago, it was the orb weaver spider
who filled my mind,
but this week, I talk to the large caterpillar
with one rear antenna on his tail
as he sits for a day on the Olmec head
that guards my swimming pool.
Back and forth, back and forth I pass,
adding a look at him to my lap routine.
For one long afternoon,
he sits still—like Alice’s caterpillar,
but hookah-less,
meditating in this gray place.
If he were on my Virginia Creeper,
I’d be repositioning him
to the empty lot next door, but here
he seems to be a guest; and so some etiquette
keeps me from altering his placement
as he sits on stone, moving his suction cups in sequence
now and then only to alter his direction, not his place.

I question if I’ve stayed too long
in this one place.
Is there something else
I may yet do?
So if you are a wandering poet
and you have a place you think I need to go,
please write of it
in the way you do best
and tell me why I have to go there.
And if you create a good argument and a better poem,
I will go to that place in much the same way
that I have come to this point
in my poem.
Open to what comes next.

This is neither a love poem nor a singles ad. It was prompted by a blog site called “The Wandering Poet” that I recently read. I think I commented, and then as I was ready to leave his/her blog, I caught sight of the “Follow” button. The phrase “follow the wandering poet” got stuck in my mind, leading to “If I followed the wandering poet” and this poem. The challenge is real. I will pick up and go to any place that any poet, male or female, makes irresistible by means of a poem. (Be kind. Choose nothing less for me than the best place on earth you know of. I, by the way, will do the same for you if you wish. Judy)

P.S.: Thanks, Wandering Poet. If I forgot to select “follow,” I’ll do it next time.

I will never cease being amazed at the incredible capacities of the human mind, because three days ago, I wrote the above poem for reasons explained above and the next morning I woke up repeating the lyrics “I will make you fishers of men, fishers of men, fishers of men.  I will make you fishers of men, if you follow me.” (an old Sunday School song I haven’t thought of for 50 years). Now this morning I woke up with the song lyrics, ‘I will follow him, follow him wherever he may go” running through my mind, only to go on the WordPress site to discover that the prompt for today was: Opening Lines—What’s the first line of the last song you listened to (on the radio, on your music player, or anywhere else)? Use it as the first sentence of your post.

All three days, “Follow” has seemed to be the prompt running through my mind and so I guess it is time to publish this poem, conceived of even before I’d heard today’s prompt!!!!

How I (Don’t) Lay Me Down to Sleep

Spider Solitaire

How I (Don’t) Lay Me Down to Sleep

At 2 AM, when others sleep,
computer solitaire I keep
in front of me on lap or chest,
for part of me decrees it best
to put off sleep an hour or so.
That precious time I often blow
on playing Spider Solitaire.
At my computer screen I stare,
moving little clubs or hearts
here and there in fits and starts,
trying to beat my own best time,
this silly game becomes sublime.
I know not why I love it well—
and so I cannot really tell
why I prefer it over all.
Deluxe Free Cell can be a ball,
In fact, I play it hours on hours
trying to deplete those towers
of mismatched cards, quickly I bring
them from below, from Ace to King.
Card by card, I pile them high—
my laptop balanced on my thigh—
until the cards become hypnotic,
my moving of them now Quixotic.
Too sleepy to beat my own time,
my need for rest becomes sublime.
Then sleep fills up my empty cup
till seven or eight, when I wake up
to spill night’s cards clear of my screen
so this day’s daily prompt is seen.
And this is how I start my day.
This time, it’s words I choose to play!

The Prompt: Now? Later!—We all procrastinate. Website, magazine, knitting project, TV show, something else — what’s your favorite procrastination destination?

This big fella appeared on my steps last night—perhaps a harbinger of what I was going to write about today.  He’s the first tarantula I’ve ever seen at my house—four inches across, he is a formidable addition to my garden menagerie!

I just have to add a postscript.  This reply to my today’s post was just sent to me by my three- months-a-year housemate. I feel a bit like Jeanette MacDonald to his Nelson Eddy!  Ha. I absolutely love it, by the way. This is what he posted on his blog this morning:

To your addictions I can attest.
You’re clicking, clicking. You need your rest!
“Sleepy time,” I do proclaim,
And you reply, “Just one more game.”
And so I roll upon my side
and let your clicking, clicking guide
me off to sleep, to dream, to waken
to morning to find that you’re makin’
words to poems to fill your blog.
Keep writing, Dear. I’ll feed the dog.