I stayed up hanging on the line last night
My eyeballs were putting up a terrible fight
With my lids defiant and the screen too bright
Skin so itchy in pyjamas, something wasn’t right
With the tablet scrolling, tapping black on grey
Skimming lousy fan fiction ‘til the break of day
Guilty pleasures to distract me from this state of play
Knowing all too well what he would have to say
I’ve been lounging round in bubble baths to help me snooze
With late night meditating, self-hypnosis, pills and booze
Relaxation seems an ever more elusive muse
Necking Nytol, chugging camomile but no good news
Been a long time now since I couldn’t sleep
Keeping busy, feeling dizzy ‘til the clock goes beep
Waking dreams so crammed with thoughts that slither dark and deep
Just keep walking through the daylight feeling ready to weep
When your brain won’t slow and your ears won’t close
And you’re feeling sort of coldy from your head to your toes
No hot toddy makes you noddy, as the restless grows
Squirming prone beneath the duvet in your sleeping clothes
But the minute you stretch to find your feet again
He starts complaining in his sleep and clutching at your hem
As his snoring fills your senses and you pray for REM
You’re still stuck playing teddy while you count to ten
Sick of sheep that wander wooly through your neural net
As you lie caught between ‘it’s bed-time’ and ‘not-breakfast-yet’
Swearing blue streaks in the curtains trying to forget
It’s been an hour since you last visited the cabinet
Essential oils to make you sleepy getting in your face
With the stink of lavender all over the place
Singing whales offend the cat but buy you no more grace
He steals the pillow, sprawling fur in every inch of space
When the sun comes sneaking through the soggy dawn
You’ve given up on any rest; just put your knickers on
Stumble downstairs grumbling looking pale and wan
Bag grabbed, you’re lurching to the bus stop with the zombie throng
These were written separately, but I have decided to group them together due to content, so please excuse any repetition of imagery or metaphor.
Lying quietly, facing the ceiling, I contemplate the beauty of this sterile, stucco’d upside-down world. Perfection in uselessness, barren space, wasted tidiness. Grey serenity in the early-evening light, and I am cleansed of the day’s worries. The clutter of my brain seeping out and floating downward to pool around my ankles while I gaze in wonder at the splendour of light playing across a clean surface.
I could be happy up there, living on the ceiling. I’d bathe my hands in the cool basin of the light-shade and sigh at the barren beauty of my upside-down world. The bookshelves would give me ready access to all those hard-to-reach, top-shelf titles, now brought down to my level by happenstance and made accessible to me. I would stretch languorously, revelling in the space about my arms, then sprawl across the ceiling, shaking a dusty tome upwards towards the carpet. I could sigh, long and loud, then spend the day within my mind. Minus the distractions of chores – no hoovering, no dusting, no washing up, and I’d be free.
The inner world I know so well
Yet not at all, tho’ there I dwell
Has many paths, I skip or run,
Or crawl in terrors and in fun.
The sky can change from grey to green
And back again though I may dream.
This landscape meets my every need
Though horrors I may seek indeed.
I find therein, my peace, my all,
Yet nothing’s really there at all.
My kingdom fair in my mind’s eye
Can make me laugh and make me cry.
It heals me of my passing woe,
And changes my opinion, though
I rarely see, within those lands,
A single evidence of man.
Try as I might, I cannot find
A better way to ease my mind.
The butterflies I chase through pasture
Do not die, but share my laughter.
Always summer, there’s no rain
I tumble down, but feel no pain.
I fall a thousand feet and swim
Up waterfalls, then dive back in.
I climb tall trees, and play at life,
It’s fun there and I’m no one’s wife.
Yes, who needs Prozac? Who indeed?
No pills could give me what I need.
This land I love, I always find
In time of need, within my mind.
And if you seek to share with me,
To ease your sorrow, misery?
You’re welcome stranger, come on in,
Enjoy this place of joyful din.
For peace and solitude in there
Are plentiful for all to share.