This is such a relatable senryu, Ed. I find myself chuckling at the irony even as I feel the sleepless pain. A friend of mine helpfully offered the word "vigil" to describe these insomniac intervals. Ever since, I at least feel more peaceful about feeling tired! Plus, I get some of my best writing done in those rest-less hours.
watching the moon drift
through my haiku
I've had to do a whole week without sleep, and once for six months while caring, but I don't think I could survive year long bouts of insomnia.
I'm glad that at least the computer got some sleep!
Thankfully it's extremely rare that I cannot sleep due to something like insomnia. But maybe a few years back, if Karen was away, I'd stay up all night way into the small hours. It'd be the owl empire zone at times too.
But there was one night, at least, of almost seeing a whole cycle of…
the gas station lights
keep me company
Publication credit: Blithe Spirit (vol 23 no. 4 November 2012)
Collection: Does Fish-God Know (YTBN Press 2012)
problèmes de sommeil
les lumières de la station service
me tiennent compagnie
I love the French word "sommeil"–so much more restful of a sound than "sleep;" and no hard end consonant–just an open ayyyy that stretches itself into dreamland.
the moon wakes me
One of the nice things about our international community of poets is knowing that some of you are awake while I am supposed-to-be-but-not sleeping. Makes me feel less lonely on those moonlit vigils. If you ever get the strange sense of someone waving at you from across the pond, Alan, it's probably just me. ~.~
I believe sleep has had a great influence on me creatively, and of course not-sleep, and the time before I give into sleep. And of course 'lucid dreaming' which I did as background to a novel, but it became both too dangerous, and impractical as I had a full-time job running alongside.
Certainly when I did continental shifts as a young adult, seven days of night, two days off, and other shifts, I wanted to avoid the daylight so that I felt 'night' and lived and breathed it.
I certainly needed black-out shades! It is fascinating how we have a symbiotic relationship with the moon, if we so wish. :-)
At school my class teacher assumed I was struggling despite the fact at 'primary school' I was reading Dickens at six. So I was placed into a remedial class. Incredibly embarrassing. But the best thing as it was really an advanced class in disguise thanks to a Polish woman, who was magical. I wish I could have stayed longer, and it was tearful leaving. When I rejoined the main class again it was like I had stepped back. I had to borrow books from the classes a year and two years ahead of me. Except for one guilty pleasure from my class library (now banned due to government cuts). It was a book where the world was one mattress, one bed. I knew it was no longer for my reading age but it was the notion.
We have funny relationships with sleep and bed. I wrote a whole ekphrastic inspired haibun around the bed called The Strange Bed. Probably a little too raunchy for here, and glad my editor took it, but probably too raunchy for Blithe Spirit readers too! :-)
But our bed and not-bed and no-bed existence is an intriguing one, and how as poets we rely on not-sleeping-but-should-be-sleeping or placing ourselves in some kind of not-sleeping-but-sleeping zone of writing.
The Night Train
of paper rock scissors
you sleep into me
c.2.2. Anthology of short-verse ed. Brendan Slater & Alan Summers
(Yet To Be Named Free Press 2013)
And I'll remember on those vigils, as some definitely are, like the two-month-long online poetry courses I ran for American poetry organisations, and had to be awake to catch realtime responses, that there are haiku poets both awake, and waving, and in sync.
And that each of us is an 'awake-poet' in…
the smaller hours
when others sleep deeply
the dots I join