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Now I lie beneath the covers, worldly thoughts I try to smother,
sleep, a pleasure like no other, eyes feel heavy, a yawn comes on.
Pray to the Lord my soul to keep, plump my pillow and snuggle deep,
sigh and settle, welcome sleep. Sandman, show me somnolent scenes,
dream me drowsy, dozeable dreams, grant me glories to gaze upon;
let me sleep until the dawn.

It doesn’t seem too much to ask, nightly nap after daily tasks.
Let me sip from a soothing flask, no further need to labor on;
tomorrow is another day — to fight the fray, to harvest hay,
maybe to while the time away. Never mind the resolutions,
problems having no solutions, the curtains of the day are drawn;
I want to sleep until the dawn.

Now, I begin to feel a twitch, a muscle spasm, now an itch.
I really hate to whine and bitch, but this condition can’t go on.
Turn on the light, read my book, squint, give the clock a second look,
wonder how many pills I took. Covers rumpled, twisted, tangled,
I’m annoyed, nerves are jangled. Maybe, turn the radio on;
I need sleep before the dawn.

Think I’ll go down and watch TV, something relaxing — history,
maybe drama or mystery, don’t want anything that’s too long,
don’t want to think or contemplate, would be nice just to vegetate,
if it’s too slow I’ll ruminate. Jay is always good for a laugh,
just in time for the second half. Shopping channel has got a con;
I can’t believe I’ve got this on.

Hush sleepy papa don’t you cry, sleep will come — by and by.
Sing me a soothing lullaby or sweet and lowdown, bluesy song.
In the wee hours of the morning, thoughts arrive without a warning,
evil thoughts like hornets swarming, spoken by a voice inside,
meant to weaken and deride — I’m not worthy to carry on.
No time for sleep — here comes dawn.

I often have a problem with Insomnia. The above represents a fairly typical night for me. The form of this poem is loosely based on Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Raven” which is, I believe a Sapphic variant. The rhyming pattern is: aa/ab/cc/cd/db/b.