A guest poem today, from a mysterious poet who wishes to be identified as Frances McEwan. Coincidentally, this is another poem about sleep – or the lack of it – following my ‘The Sleepers’ a few days ago (see Recent Posts).


 Tomorrow, bring tomorrow forward now
 and take the awful darkness from the night
 you know it can’t be trusted anyhow
 so turn it off by turning on the light.
 Do you dispute when debts of love are due
 you fall into arrears and turn away
 to search the sterile wall for ways that you
 might push aside this painful, loving day?
 In the artificial day’s bright flood
 you sit and pull your knees up to your chin
 though you’ve done everything you should
 there’s no way in existence you can win.
 Lie back and think of better times you knew
 and better times that owe their soul to you. 

pic: myUpchar. Cropped and shared in accordance with CC-BY-SA-4.0

The Sleepers

I’ve hosted some fine guest poems on here recently, but it’s occurred to me that it’s been a while since I posted one of my own. So I thought I’d share this. It won a small Poetry Nook competition a while back.

 The Sleepers
 TV off, the last ablutions done. 
 Toothpaste foam and late-night flushings 
 froth together in the drain. 
 And, one by one, fingers turn on the darkness,
 bodies fold themselves in feather-down, 
 minds fumble for their off-switch, 
 curtain eyelids close.  
 You’d think, after so many years, 
 they would be good at it.
 But in the big room, switches broken, 
 she and he both see-saw to and fro
 from bills and deadlines
 to bizarre uneasy dreams, take turns
 to snore each other out of sleep. 
 Across the landing, though, the novices
 could show them how it’s done.
 The bodies still, the minds away
 riding on unicorns or spaceships
 as growing brains are seething 
 with connections, hothousing memories. 
 They will return to something better than before.