Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Insomnia sits

insomnia sits
on the cracked shell of dreams
and stares at the night-stained walls

she keeps company
with grief and guilt
sipping frequently from worry

stars that peek
through the web of memory
offer little heat or heart in the mean hours

and the clock's red eye
keeps a bleary watch
against any crooked finger of rest

there's a twist
to the sheets
and to the mind that doesn't sleep


Blogger Pat Paulk said...

WOW!! Mary Beth, I'm sorry for the lack of sleep, but you produced a dynamite poem!!

11/29/2006 3:37 PM  
Blogger charlie said...

mb - as a life-long starer at 'night-stained walls' i think this poem is just great(and a clever pic, to boot). you have captured it, simple as that, and it's interesting that she is a she. i have often found myself counting she intead of sheep. damn that twist! :o)

11/29/2006 6:11 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Pat, thank you! It's a bit edgy, but might as well pull something from the experience, eh? I'd hoped to get it a bit more rhythmic, maybe on an edit one day.

Charlie, never occurred to me that Insomnia would be anything but a she. "Counting she" doesn't sound so bad, after all, unless they're all insomniae. Thanks, from one twisted mind to another. ;-)

11/29/2006 6:26 PM  
Blogger Lori Witzel said...

Loved it. And that clock's red eye...dang. So true, and so right-as-image.

I hope you have fluffy pillow-cloud dreams and happier sleep, but am glad you could shape that evening's lack into a gift.

11/29/2006 6:45 PM  
Blogger firebird said...

Ooh! "the mean hours"--vividly brings back memories of misery...hope this episode is a fleeting and soon forgotten one!

11/29/2006 9:17 PM  
Blogger Sky said...

i love this. the "mean hours" especially!

thankfully those days are over for me. since i don't work, i don't go to bed until i am clock watching for me any longer!

11/29/2006 9:41 PM  
Blogger floots said...

wonderfully done mb
(i was up at 5.30 after a sleepless night - so it hit home all too well) :)

11/29/2006 11:49 PM  
Blogger robin andrea said...

I love this poem, mb. It makes me think of all my nights of sleeplessness. Insomnia's family is each in their own beds across the land, watching the same red eye and counting the mean hours ticking. The heater comes on, goes off. The far neighbor's motion sensor light shines, and then goes dark. Once all the grief and guilt have been thoroughly examined, there is only the small whir of the refrigerator.

11/30/2006 6:46 AM  
Blogger iamnasra said...

Its nice to be here ...Im glda to read your poems

11/30/2006 6:49 AM  
Blogger mermaid said...

The connection between that picture and what you've described in your mind and what you see is uncanny.

That thin crack at the center of the picture. It's asking for more space, as I feel you are with this piece.


11/30/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger Endment said...

OH - I have met her --- she is a frequent visitor --- how well you have described her visits

11/30/2006 9:31 AM  
Blogger rdl said...

You nailed it!!

11/30/2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger polona said...

perfect! this one really hits home.

11/30/2006 10:55 AM  
Blogger la vie en rose said...

you make something as icky as insomnia sound beautiful

11/30/2006 12:09 PM  
Blogger Firehawk said...


Wonderful cadence and rhythm in this one. I loved the "spooky" element in this poem, sort of like the folk songs about the boogey man and so forth. Very much a departure for you, but I like it.

Sorry I haven't been around as much. The candle keeps growing more ends to burn, I think.

11/30/2006 1:29 PM  
Blogger Tongue in Cheek Antiques said...

a hotflash adds the punch.
counting sheep endlessly
and dancing silently with the moonshadow...sleepless in France.

11/30/2006 1:39 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Hi MB... this is my first visit to your blog... this poem alone will keep me coming back... it has that quality that gets my attention and keeps it... and i am sure - means a little extra more to me since i've spent many a sleepless nights

11/30/2006 4:26 PM  
Blogger Bitterroot said...

Wow! Very powerful writing. You have indeed turned an experience into a gift. It is somehow reassuring to read these words and the strong affirmations from the folks who have also read it. It makes you realize you're not alone when you have this very human experience.

11/30/2006 5:59 PM  
Anonymous beth said...

Oh, you too? You describe it perfectly.

12/01/2006 3:39 AM  
Blogger charlie said...

yes, probably ;o)

12/01/2006 8:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MB, I copied this poem and will read it on nights I can't sleep and there's a twist to the sheets. How well you've captured insomnia!

12/01/2006 12:34 PM  
Blogger alan said...

My mind used to refuse the pendulum has swung and it can't get enough!

Looking for that happy in-between...


12/01/2006 12:46 PM  
Blogger MB said...

Lori, thanks, I gratefully accept all the puffy-cloud wishes!

Firebird, thank you, time is a great remedy for all sorts of things... eventually.

Sky, I've noticed that I really don't think straight, or very nicely, at that time of night. Lucky you!

Floots, sorry to hear it, but thanks for the commiseration.

Robin Andrea, insomnia's family — egad! What a thought! (Makes me think of something along the lines of the Addams family...)

Nasra, welcome and thank you for commenting. I'll come visit!

Mermaid, thanks for appreciating the illustration and for your good wish.

Endment, much appreciated.

rdl, thanks!

Polona, thanks!

Michelle, I certainly don't think of insomnia as a beautiful thing, though!

Firehawk, thanks, I'm glad you enjoyed this piece. And I'm glad to hear you're busy with your projects, though hopefully not too busy.

Corey, ah, you sound like you know the scene well. Sweeter dreams to you!

Amy, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed the visit. I'll come take a look.

Bitterroot, I confess I'm a little surprised by the number of insomniacs frequenting my blog! ;-)

Beth, oh yes, me too, I'm afraid. Episodically, fortunately.

Charlie, may you recover from your jet lag quickly and smoothly!

Pauline, may it provide you with some comfort, then.

Alan, balance is a good thing, but sometimes it consists of backing and forthing. I hope you find the in-between soon!

12/01/2006 4:51 PM  
Blogger snowsparkle said...

fantastic ode to the kind of sleeplessness i've been experiencing lately. hope your peace is restored soon. thanks for giving voice to this experience so eloquently!

12/03/2006 8:30 AM  
Blogger moira said...

Perfectly described.

12/04/2006 1:06 PM  
Blogger Sue hardy-Dawson said...

I suffer with insomnia too this is so well captured-do you write much when you can't sleep? I often do.

12/06/2006 10:26 AM  
Blogger MB said...

Snowsparkle, thanks. I hope you are sleeping better, too.

Moira, thank you.

Sue, sometimes I do write, yes. Thank you.

12/13/2006 6:34 AM  

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