Waiting for Sleep to Come

Each night I walk observing
graves tended and untended,
order and disorder. My head-
stone is blotched with moss
and lichen, my brief story blotted
out. I shimmer in the silver moon-
light, skim long grass and weeds
dusted with dandelion and thistle seeds
between lych gate and porch,
where closely-mown grass scorched
over summer. Tiny flowers spread
there, a quilt on which to lay my head
and wait for eternal sleep to come
where not bees but night-time traffic hums.

Kim M. Russell, 17th September 2019

Sleeping Angel

My response to dVerse Poets Poetics: Waiting for a poem

Sarah is our host this Tuesday; she asks how much of our time we spend waiting for things to happen and how much we spend hanging in the pauses between events, the gaps in our lives – questions to make us think. She says that some waiting is good, and filled with anticipation, while other kinds of waiting are not so good, like waiting for waiting for the dentist to pop his head round the door.

Today, Sarah would like us to write poems of anticipation, maybe hoping for something wonderful, afraid of retribution or just desperate to get off, away or on with something.

34 thoughts on “Waiting for Sleep to Come

    1. Most people avoid cemeteries but I find them interesting. I often go through the churchyard in our local market town to get to the high street. There are some very unusual names on the headstones. One of my favourite places in London is Highgate cemetery. I haven’t been since I moved to Norfolk.


  1. As Marlowe called it “The Big Sleep”, or Mickey Spillane with his “Dirt Nap”. You have touched on a question for the ages. Will we all spend some time beyond the veil in a Way Station, in purgatory, in limbo? No guess will suffice. We will know soon enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful imagery here Kim! This is, for me, a brilliant expression of insomnia… or perhaps I am just reading my reality into it. Excellent writing… and I love the photo.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kaykuala

    where not bees but
    night-time traffic hums.

    Very true outcome Kim, when one gets caught in the rush hour traffic home from the office. A lot of din and cutting in and out by those impatient linger on in one’s mind. Anger still persist before sleep!


    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lovely synecdoche of waiting for the little sleep as a metaphor as waiting for the big one. How different are they, really? Loved the parade through late-night outside detail, as if waiting for sleep was echoed by the fated walk into one’s grave. Well done Kim.

    Liked by 1 person

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