On Waking Up at Night


My nightmare begins in the sweetest of ways

exploratory conversation, a joke, a slant glance     then I wake up

warmed instead of chilled

at the thought of carefree happiness I believed lost.

So I learn to crave that wholesome feeling.

What if it never appears again on my horizon?

Imagine the gape, the void          the want

all the missing in one laugh, a gentle touch to mark a word.

In the dark I hear a breath

or several

enslaving me

do you see a way out?

Who can quite explain why

the landscape before and after seems endless and bleak?

Will I ever experience emotion again

outside of my dreams?

I think not. So night fears

hurt me less than these joyous snatches of dreamscape.

It’s almost bearable – please believe me –

it’s just the waking

from delicious dreams on a foggy winter morning

or seeing plans go to waste in the dark.

Another wintery and not very cheerful poem to link up to dVerse Poets Open Link Night. For more cheerful and interesting responses, please check out the other poets posting there tonight. The theme is ‘gifts’ and the most precious gift for me has been people’s responses to my writing over the past two years.


22 thoughts on “On Waking Up at Night”

  1. In the Egyptian cosmology, the Otherworld was a pure negative of ours — the exact reverse — so our little intimate life became this blowing enormity on the other side, our feet on sand a ghost walking on water et cetera. Something of that seemed to press its face to this window.

  2. I guess I should be happy that I do not dream. Waking from delicious dreams undoubtedly would be painful, if one’s life did not reflect those dreams.

  3. While I do see darkness in this piece, I also see a need for one to dance with it,so the darkness gets tired and dissipates. Maybe it’s just me tho, I like to stay awake at night and stand vigilant over those landscapes.
    I enjoyed reading your poem, it stirs ones mind and heart both.

  4. This felt a little eerie – the thought of waking into sadness from the happiness of dreams. But, it made for a lovely poem. Enjoyed the read.

  5. Hi Marina I did like this as your exploration within dreams is so well done. Dark as it may be dreams often have messages for us. Emotions outside of dreams is a sad line but conveys so much. Well done.

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