Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sleep Cycle

This poem stemmed from a prompt for Writers Island. The theme this week was renewal. I struggled with it a little bit, at first, but happened upon this image at the last moment.

Sleep Cycle

My body is a miracle, when it works.
Each night, it renews itself, replaces
dull skin with fresh, recycles

old blood with new. All while I sleep,
legs pressed to my chest, arm slung
over my eyes, shielding my face

as if from attack. Mouth slack
and snoring. My unconscious mind
discards old thoughts, shuffles memories:

my grandmother is still alive, six years
after her death, cooking me eggs.
My boss from two jobs ago hires me back,

asks me why I’m so late. I want to scream
that it’s Sunday, but my jaw is glued shut. My mind
rewinds and recoils and I call these dreams.

I ponder their significance, wonder why
I remembered this person, after so many years. I never
really notice all of this, until it stops working,

until I spend one night singing the same
old Indigo Girls song to myself, in one unbroken
verse, or I watch my cat chase the same

phantom moth in the corner. After nights like these,
I spend my days shaky and awake, crushed
inside my rumpled clothes. I stare too long

at my computer screen with caffeine jittery eyes,
replay memories of fourth grade heartbreaks and yesterday’s
mistakes, my heart pumping last night’s tired blood.

10 Comments:

paisley said...

oh you are so tight on with this... i know the feeling,, and insomnia is truly a curse... but sleep,, and more so the privileged of dreams,,, are so often not recognized as the true gift they are... loved it....

gautami tripathy said...

I relate! I need sleep all the time. During weekends I sleeep like the dead!

Jo said...

What can I say but wonderful! You make it look so easy!

Rose Dewy Knickers said...

Every once in awhile, my dreams bubble up to the surface. They are different than his.

Great poem, love the pace and images are so real.

Rose

xo

lissa said...

Very much like a dream. Great poem.

...deb said...

Great response to the prompt. I like where you've gone with it. Crystal-clear realities and concrete edges.

Some terrific lines, too. "as if from attack. Mouth slack" is my favorite, out of many.

tumblewords said...

Wow! Surreal and forthright. Great poetry!

jonas said...

Ahh, dream poems...I love these, when done well as yours is. That miracle that is sleep and dream which occupies and inspires us while our body sluffs the old and recharges. thanks for contributing.

"After nights like these,
I spend my days shaky and awake, crushed
inside my rumpled clothes. I stare too long

at my computer screen with caffeine jittery eyes,
replay memories of fourth grade heartbreaks and yesterday’s
mistakes, my heart pumping last night’s tired blood."

I'm having one such day, perhaps its the rare sunshine coming through all the windows.

Jessica said...

Thanks to everyone for the responses! I've been workng for the majority of the day, so I will be catching up on Writers Island tomorrow.

kimberley said...

Really well crafted - and a cool interpretation of the prompt. I always enjoy reading your poetry :)