Once upon a van Gogh night
more colourful than day,
a shoal of stars, disturbed, took flight,
and poured down from the sky.
I couldn’t find a little boat
to row on the cosmic sea,
nor did I have a fishing-net
to catch some dreams for me.
I tossed and turned on my pillow,
and twisted my sheets in the dark
into a rope, a cotton lasso
to hunt for a comet shark.
Comet sharks are notorious
for playing hide and seek;
I had a nightmare finding one –
it took me over a week.
A sparkly shark swam down from the North,
its teeth were sharp and white
and, unlike those down here on earth,
it didn’t take a bite.
It pushed me gently with its nose
back to the warmth of my sheets,
pulled the covers up to my nose
and sang me back to sleep.
Kim M. Russell, 2017
My response to dVerse Poets Pub Tuesday Poetics – Sleep
Today our host is Frank, who is focusing on the topic of sleep. He says sleep can suggest many things: rest, dreams, nighmares, or even death. Some people view sleep as a waste of time. Some view it as a source of inspiration. Even when we are awake, some claim that we are ‘asleep’ and need to ‘wake up’. Others think there’s nothing but sleep and dreaming.
Another motivation for this prompt came from a walk through Lincoln Park in Chicago, when Frank found a statue dedicated to Eugene Field and his children’s poem, ‘Wynken, Blynken and Nod’.
For this prompt, Frank wants us to write about sleep. I kind of went with the Eugene Field vibe and wrote a poem for children.