beige wooden nightstand with white desk lamp brown wooden bed with grey comforter set
Photo by Buenosia Carol on



Ev’ry night I close my eyes
And enter in your world of lies –
It’s not your scary ones I fear,
But all your fantasies and memes –
It’s not the nightmares, but the dreams !

I swear, this time, as sleep comes near,
I’ll keep my wits and vision clear –
But how can I, when ev’ry time I doze,
My eyes must close ?

And suddenly I’m unconcerned,
With logic overturned and shot –
Instead, I find myself a slave
To ev’ry passing alpha wave.

So all those lovers, all those highs,
Those treasure troves and dragonflies –
And all for what ?
It’s not to make me sadly wise,
For lessons learned are soon forgot.

You took my hope, you took my trust,
And strung me on throughout the night,
Before you vanished into sleepy dust –
My innocence once more was sold
For mem’ry holes and fairy gold !

And willing dope was I, alright –
The fool you fooled the night before,
And who you’ll surely fool again,
To lead astray down lackwit lane.

Was this your prize ?
Was this the reason for your lies,
To bring this naive mortal down to size ?
But then, when stranded in the dark,
I must have made an easy mark.

But worse than that, deep down, must be
That knowing all along
The one who plays the piper’s song,
Who does me wrong with such a glee –
It’s all myself and only me !



Silent Night

The Nightmare by Henry Fuseli (though I’ve always thought the incubus looks peeved because it can’t find a way in)


Silent Night

Dreams, come not and bother me tonight,
Tonight I have no time for dreams.
I am exhausted to the seams,
And need the black to snuff the white.
So do not follow in my deep,
To make me cry or hope or leap.
Tonight, I only wish to lie –
So let me lie, and only dream of sleep.



To Ev’ry Dream I Ever Dreamt

Sleeping Venus by Simon Vouet


To Ev’ry Dream I Ever Dreamt

Oh, what a night we spent together,
That night I spent in your arms !
That night I fell headlong for your charms,
That night we met in the dark.
Though my eyes were closed, I saw it all,
And yet, so little I recall…
And yet…I kind-of sense you’ve left your mark.
Oh, what a night we spent together,
It felt like the night would last forever –
Yet ev’ry night ends with the lark,
The radio’s bark across the hall,
The clanging bells that wrench me from the ball.

Oh, what a night when I slept with you !
For just one night, and never again –
Now ev’ry night I wait in vain,
Until another REM-ling takes your place.
We had a time, though, you and I,
Just wish I could have said goodbye –
But I was snatched from your embrace,
Or when I looked away, you fled –
Our words unsaid with the dawning sky,
One more lost thread, one more forgotten face.
We were, alas, a one-night lie,
And now I wake to an empty bed,

A Poet to His Surgeon

two person doing surgery inside room
Photo by Vidal Balielo Jr. on


A Poet to His Surgeon

You know me much closer and touch me much deeper
Than any could ever before –
You bring to your table this soundest of sleepers,
And open me up to explore.
You rend me asunder with gentleest plunder,
To survey my hintermost-lands;
You ease my distress with your tender caress,
With my life firmly held in your hands.



Midnight Glorious

Flavelle Angel by Gustav Hahn


Midnight Glorious

An angel came into my room
One night, and hovered by my bed,
With subtle beats of golden wings,
And gentle light about his head.
And while my shock about my guest
Continued, so he spoke to me:
“Why, pray, shall you so hate God
When all He shows is love for thee ?”
“The Lord…?” I stammered once or twice,
Then found some voice from who knows where
To make reply “I hate him not,
The truth is that I do not care.”
“Now come,” the angel mocked with jest,
“For all your claims of disbelief,
Why would you spend so much strong speech
On what should matter slight and brief ?
If you upon such proof insist
As only science can provide,
Then, please, we wish you go in peace,
And as you go, let us abide.”
And as his light began to fade
And too his form began to fly,
I softly said, perhaps too late:
“So I shall you.  Shall you so I ?”

In the Arms of Morphea

The Sleping Girl
The Sleeping Girl by Edith Corbet


In the Arms of Morphea

Oh, I could sleep for a hundred years –
Sleep through bombardment or brass band or earthquake,
Sleep through a hundred-fold stampeding steers,
Sleep with more passion and vigour than when I’m awake,
With a beautiful absence of fears –
For so comes my guardian muse.
You’ll think me too-slumbered, encoma’d, unwound –
An elegant study in prone and supine.
With hardly a care if I never come round,
Each whispering breath but a sigh of repletion divine –
So sweet is the stupor, so stormless the snooze.
And tenderly, warmly, and soft she sedates,
My deadlines dissolve and my duties unstream,
My tension unstraps and my hasslements scatter –
For there on my pillow, my mesmerous mistress awaits.
And do I dream ?
Perhaps.  It really doesn’t matter.



My Second-Best Beds

Flaming June
Flaming June by Frederick Leighton


My Second-Best Beds

The beds that I’ve slept in, the beds that I’ve known:
Each harder than vapour and softer than stone,
From four-poster boasters to flea-bitten heaps –
I’ve sailed on their billows and sunk in their deeps.
From headboards to bedsteads, from duvets to sheets,
From brass-knobs to tassels, from casters to pleats,
With mattresses lumpy or stuffed to the seams:
They each one and ev’ry are beds of my dreams.

But they never will be perfect;
They’re close, but they never will.
In all my sleeping days alive
In which I ply my greatest skill,
The bliss of never-knowning five ayem
Is never quite as good in them.
However much they rest me,
They are always second-best –
Why climb the hill to Bedfordshire
To lie alone atop its crest ?
The bed I most desire to keep
Is in beside wherever you may sleep.

The beds that I’ve slept in, the beds I’ve called home:
To lie down on eiderdown, horsehair and foam.
From top-bunk to futon, from hammock to cot,
I’ve slept in the worst and the best of the lot.
Springs within pockets and springs within springs,
From the smallest of cribs to the sizes of kings.
A third of our lives is spend under their care,
From a bench in a park to the Great Bed of Ware.

One night, I swear I’ll drift away,
A hundred years a-snore,
And float amid the elves and fay
To where no dreamers dare explore,
And free my delta-waves to play
Where only Nemo came before.
Until I’m tossed upon your shore again,
To share once more your counterpane.
For the perfect place for counting sheep
Is right beside wherever you may sleep.



The title comes from Shakespeare, though not from his plays.