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Saturday, June 16, 2012

For Real Toads: a nightmare poem

Our challenge this week at the online writers' group Imaginary Garden with Real Toads, is to write a poem about a dream or a nightmare.
Before I was diagnosed with sleep apnea, this dream came to me for many years, and I always woke exhausted from the struggle of trying to move or speak. I've since been told I stop breathing many times an hour while I sleep, so that may account for the struggle I felt in the dream/nightmare.
I am very happy to say this hasn't been a problem in the last year.
  
  * * *
You came to me in the night
William Mumler photo,
Mrs. Lincoln...and...
You came for many years
Sometimes you gave me such a fright,
Awakening all my fears.
  
You stood in the doorway, only there,
And gestured and talked to me.
I tried to reply, but I couldn’t talk,
Couldn’t move — I could only see.
  
For years you came when I was tired
When I wasn’t sleeping well
It felt as though my arms were mired
In the cold, dank mud of hell.
  
I struggled so, to reply to you
But I couldn’t speak, though I tried,
Struggled to make the words come through,
And to ask you how you had died.
  
* * *
I'm a retired workaholic
but whenever I'm tired
I dream
that I'm back at work, on deadline
and the life I have now
is a dream.

* * *
Half dream, half hope, half battle
(if there can be three halves)
And of course there can
'Cause I'm dreaming now and
The old rules aren't part of the plan.

* * *

9 comments:

Fran said...

These are all very good and emotive, but I particularly like the last one, especially the line 'the old rules aren't part of the plan'. How true that in your dreams anything is possible xxx

Mary said...

Your first poem is haunting, especially the ending. I find myself wondering if this was someone you KNEW who appeared in your dream (because of the ending where you wanted to know how he/she died). And, as for your second poem, ha!! I concur - retirement is bliss.

Other Mary said...

Oh, my husband has sleep apena, but now has a c-pap. I'm glad you do to. It's a frightening thing. You capture the nightmarish mood well, and I really like that picture you have with it.

Heaven said...

That is a scary nightmare poem ~ Gave me the chills ~

Well, retirement is far off from me, its my dream to retire someday..ha..ha..

Sherry Blue Sky said...

These are simply wonderful. As a Type A personality, I SO IDENTIFY with you dreaming about work and busyness. So many of my dreams are like that! And then we wake up tired:)

Kerry O'Connor said...

I have had dreadfully lucid nightmares all my life, and that feeling of being trapped with a malevolent force is one of the worst kind.

Kay said...

I don't have sleep apnea, but I've had that sensation of trying to talk to someone and not being able to get the words out.

Susie Clevenger said...

I hate that feeling of trying to speak but my words are frozen...it is so terrifying...

Mystic_Mom said...

You wrote with great imagery and words - shiver. Glad I don't struggle with apnea and nightmares as you have my friend. Here's to not having them anymore!