INSOMNIAC

English: Grave of Sylvia Plath The grave of po...

The grave of poet Sylvia Plath in Heptonstall, Yorkshire (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

INSOMNIAC

The night is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole —
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
Under the eyes of the stars and the moon’s rictus
He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness
Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.

Over and over the old, granular movie
Exposes embarrassments–the mizzling days
Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams,
Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,
A garden of buggy rose that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.
Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.

He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue —
How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him
A life baptized in no-life for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him no good.

[only part of the whole; by Sylvia Plath, 1939 – 1963]

No Rest for the Wicked

Storm Approaching Paradise - Coral Island, Phu...

Storm Approaching Paradise – Coral Island, Phuket, Thailand (Photo credit: Captain Kimo)

Wrestling with restless pain or ache
of limb or head or toe

Tossed about on strange bed linen
cold duvet and pillow

Eyes that shut yet stay awake
flitting from friend to foe

Pricked conscience now aroused
where moral standards fell below

Storm clouds looming thick and dark
provoked by night-light glow

Evil lurking, self-hating
Temptation at the door

Clock ticking on the hour!
Elusive sleep’s almighty power
God summoned by then
His angels descend
bringing soft consoling cheer
rocking baby Jesus, near

Millicent Danker

3 March 2013