Tag Archives: Sleep

Night Counselor


Night Counselor

There is some little magic thing that whispers in the night,
smoothing out our former fears and setting them aright,
forever taking on the problems of the day,
righting them and sending them blithely on their way.
Settling our nerves with some alchemy of sleep
that somehow deals with worries, however wide and deep.
Though travails may be frequent, overwhelming in their numbers,
at least we have partial relief, nightly, in our slumbers.


Prompt words today are magic, forever, frequency, nerve and wide.

She Reads Me!

The Prompt: Your book is about to be recorded as an audiobook. If you could choose anyone  to narrate it, who would it be?

prairie moths cover 8.5_ (1)
She Reads Me!

When ever I go off to sleep
there is some company I keep.
No Teddy bear or other furry––
the thing I use to stave off worry
of that proverbial smoking gun–
the unkind deeds I might have done–
is a simple bedtime rite–
an audio book to stave off night.

Instead of wandering my mind,
mental ramblings of another kind
fill my thoughts before I slumber,
for fiction does less to encumber
my dreams with guilts of past misdeeds.
Entertainment rarely breeds
nightmares of a shocking sort.
The words of others just abort
somnambulant wanderings through the vast
savannas of my distant past.

So–short story long, if you’re the same––
using sleep to sort through blame
for all your guilty pleasures past,
and if you seek a way to cast
off all these worries of the night,
and choose my words to soothe your plight,
When I lay you down to sleep,
I hope I’m read by Meryl Streep.

Here’s what I wrote the first time I answered this prompt:   https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/09/11/3307/


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


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.

The Dogs Are Barking (May 19,2013)

The Dogs Are Barking

They break the morning––a daily rite.
It’s just a warning. The dogs won’t bite.
Two strangers talk but pass unseen.
I doze, they walk, with a wall between.
I lie here posed between thought and sleep.
My eyes still closed. I’m swimming deep.

I resist the trip––that journey up––
preferring to sip from the dreaming cup
whose liquid darker and bitter thick
reveals a starker bailiwick
than schedules, crafts, menus, schemes.
Much finer draughts we quaff in dreams.

I try to sink back into sleep,
once more to drink of waters deep;
but the dogs still bark. They leap and pace.
My dreams too dark for this morning place.
Those dreams lie deep and intertwined,
wanting to creep back up my mind.

But its slippery slope is much inclined
and provides small hope that I will find
again, that world well out of sight
where truth lies curled, still holding tight––
as oysters cleave and then unfurl
with mighty heave, the priceless pearl

of that other mind that slips the knife
beneath the rind of our daily life.
Time is a brew of present, past
and future, too—whatever’s cast
to stew and steep the story rare
that’s buried deep in dreams laid bare.

Dreams are stories we tell ourselves
that draw our quarries to bookstore shelves.
Pinned to the page, they reach their height
and bring our sage self to the light.
But the dogs are barking. They’re hungry, cross.
When I rise to feed them, the poem is lost.

Uncaught, dismembered, it blows away.
Like petals, scattered in the light of day.