I’m returning to familiar territory with this poem; sleeplessness. It’s something I suffer with every once in a while, so it’s not a terrible problem, but it can leave me feeling absolutely exhausted for a few days. As a result, I often find myself somewhere between a zombie and a purely functional human being, particularly at work.
This was a poem I believe was written a few months back. In fact, to begin with it wasn’t a complete poem as it was a kind of ‘something’ that I found on the bottom half of a page in my notebook , sat beneath a different, finished poem. I didn’t even notice it when I went back to write the other up for another blog as it just looked like 10 lines worth of notes. Thankfully, I found it again when flicking through the same notebook a few weeks ago. Once I’d given it a read I decided that I’d have to sit back down and get it finished.
I have a vague memory of finishing the poem at the top of the page and deciding to head back to bed. However, before I’d gotten up out of the chair another few lines arrived in my head and I sat back down to see what I could put together. I imagine it was another half an hour before I headed back upstairs. Anyway, it turned into the poem below.
The sounds of your sleeping collide with that of the pulse echoing around my head in the otherwise silent room. Awake again. It prompts me to move, eventually, sleepily, stumbling out of the room. On the landing I freeze at movement in an adjacent room as someone stirs. Trying not to wake them, I imagine their panic and confusion in a darkened room, perhaps abruptly departing a dream and still myself for a moment while they return once more to their slumber. Toes curled over the edge of every stair, I descend cautiously, robotically before brutally puncturing the silence with electronic noise and light as I disable the alarm, listening for a stretched out moment before silently opening a door to pad across the pitch black front room. The irony is not lost on me as my eyes refuse to wake fully, my vision comfortably blurred around the edges as I finally sit and wonder what to do now.
I like to take myself off downstairs when I can’t sleep. First and foremost it means that I’ve got less chance of waking of the rest of the family. One of the main reasons for getting out of bed in the first place is so that I don’t wake my wife. The other reason is that I enjoy the silence of the downstairs of the house. Eventually I’ll settle at the dining room table either to get some ideas down in a notebook – if it’s ideas for writing or lines for a potential poem that have woken me. And this was what happened here.
I called the poem ‘Fragments’ for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because that’s what it was when I found it; just fragments of an idea. Lines scribbled down underneath a completed poem like I’d just had enough and wanted to just get some sleep. I also called it fragments as a reference to my sleep at these types of times. Sleep is fragmented when I’m like this. I’ll usually sleep for a little bit and then wake up, unable to get back to it. It’s then that I find myself getting up. Even when I eventually head back to bed I often can’t sleep and will wake up regularly when I do.
As usual I’d love to read any comments about the poem. I hope you enjoyed it.