With eyelids squeezed tight
you count down from ten
then twenty, fifty, a hundred
to no avail.
Silence begs for shouting
to distract the thoughts
that won’t allow, grant, permit
Sirens peel strips of flesh
from your insomniac mind,
daring fingers and lips
to remain still.
While the previous week’s poem Acceptance turned surprisingly pleasant, this poem labeled Blessed Sleep takes its own unexpected, darker twist. I’m not sure where I dredged up the idea of insomnia other than from the contrary title. I don’t recall ever having extreme bouts of insomnia, certainly nothing comparable to the misery expressed in the heart of this poem.
Having addressed the topic, however, I now have empathy for those who do suffer from such a malady. Not only does sleeplessness rob one of a full night’s Blessed Sleep. It also reaches out to undermine the following day’s pleasures that a person normally expects from life.
This poem also describes an accelerating reaction, as a taunting voice issues a dare to find peace outside the pain of noisy chaos. This suggests that sleeplessness leads to growing agitation. Worries mount, seeping into the conscious mind. This likely assures that any hope of sleep is futile.
Is there a solution that doesn’t require the use of unnatural substances? Not only for sleepless nights, but for endless days of questioning and searching for answers. An overactive imagination in the daylight hours, one that conjures up the possibility of trouble at every turn, is as afflicted by insomnia as the sleepless person of the night: both suffer from the restlessness of constant brain activity, whether negative or positive.
Maybe the solution lies in the previous poem, Acceptance. Or it may lie ahead, in an as-yet unexamined word or phrase.
Do you have the answer?