I awoke with a poem in my hands

but it was too dark, too late, too me
to grip it close and so my words flew apart,
little wisps of intent flying off to hide
in the nooks and crannies of our room.
There they murmured conspiratorially
and glared down at me accusingly,
pinning me back with their limpid eyes.
Exhausted, I latched on to the hitch of your back
but try as I might I could not hang on
and so spent the night lonely and confused,
refusing to even listen;
I once had held them dear to my heart
but I knew that soon each would depart
leaving me less than whole—going-going-gone.
So do it already, I thought. I don’t need you anymore.

One of my mother’s favorite sayings was, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” Damned me if the older I get, the more I realize this is true…

Thank you for reading I awoke with a poem in my hands. I sincerely hope you have enjoyed it and I humbly appreciate your visiting the Book of Pain. As always, I look forward to your comments.


© 2013 by John Etheridge; all rights reserved. This poem and accompanying notes are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License. This applies to all original work found on this site, unless noted otherwise. The attribution claimed under the license is: © 2013 by John Etheridge, https://bookofpain.wordpress.com.


Filed under Poetry

8 responses to “I awoke with a poem in my hands

  1. Ah! Those ideas and words don’t stay for long. Very well penned. 🙂

  2. Nice expression, .. love it.


  3. Well expressed, John. That’s exactly what happens. I keep a pad and paper next to my bed which worked like a charm – if I could only open my eyes and write!

    • Denise, Exactly! For me, part of the issue is the failure to hold an idea together emotionally and spiritually. I don’t necessarily wake from sleep so much as possibly from a reverie and my good intentions just go.

      • Yes, it is a sort of dream-like state between sleep and consciousness when I’m half aware, but semi-paralysed… and I try to remember the feelings and the words… sometimes easier than others. I always think I will but the longer I wait they just, not disappear, but lose strength somehow.

      • “but lose strength somehow” Well said. I wish I had had that line when I wrote it.