When

when sleep lay awake,
watching sound drift away, slowly,
like the hush over a platform
as the last of the train angles away,
and shoes and wheels fade into spaces,
tracks cannot follow
in straight lines;

because sleep lay awake,
long after the last bird
had sung its last lullaby,
even the ones dressing
to hatch the next morning,
silenced by a circadian rhythm
of dark fear and finger-crossed hope,

I wish i could tell you when it happened,
sometime after the quiet began,
when the night was a parody
of its shadowy self,
a child’s charcoal drawing
on a damp canvas square,
a string puppet tied to its own
shackled hand;

sometime when sleep still lay awake,
and the birds had laid their voices to rest,
when the night hung from the moon
like a shrivelled caricature,
I wish i could tell you when it happened,
when the wheels turned away
from the lines,
when the marionettes began to whirl,
when the tears came
and when alone became lonely.

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33 thoughts on “When

    1. Yeah.. there’s something about empty platforms right…sad..as if it’s all over. But that poem wrote itself really quick, so not sure what it was thinking… 🙂

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  1. Those images in ones mind tickle our creativeness and often the words just flow and almost demand to to be posted. I loved the imagery you created here and the dreamy feelings that it produced.

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  2. You have really shown what it is like when sleep lays awake. I see the thoughts whirring through the head, some of them eerie — the marionettes begin to whirl! I have had such nights.

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  3. Wow, stunning….from the rich imagery of this: “like the hush over a platform
    as the last of the train angles away” to the poignant contrast of “when alone became lonely.” Really brilliant. There is such a world of difference between those two words, ‘alone’ and ‘lonely.’

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  4. Man, this is greatly relatable. It seems to be the same experience whether it’s insomnia, lonliness, depression or even illness. Sleep is a terrible thing when you want it…but can’t have it.

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