Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Poem for the Tired

My Nightly Executioner

It is calling for my head, and
I think I must obey.
It will surely mean my demise
as I fall and know
no more.

I fought to escape its grasp
just this morning, yet here again
I must see its face, which can be
a terrifying comfort
to a mind seeking an end.

For there is a serenity in surrender
and a softness in defeat,
one that sounds too sweet
when heard by ears
that long for silence.

I will fall again tonight
to its gentle scythe,
as the fight is lost again
because darkness seems more soothing
than before.
the pillow shall have my head.


I wrote this poem when I was trying to stay awake and be productive but also really wanted to sleep. As I finally succumbed to my tiredness, I thought about how sleeping is like a temporary death that we willingly go to every night, making the pillow a kind of executioner. I also thought that since people enjoy sleeping but fear death it would be interesting to make sleep a sort of metaphor for death, creating a complex emotional reaction to it for someone who has to sleep every night. The result was this poem in which the speaker fears sleeping every day because it erases thought but also welcomes it because it offers peace.

If you want to make the poem a little less dark and serious, change the word "pillow" in the last line to "pillow pet." It made me giggle because I pictured something like this.

Killer Pillow Pet!

On an unrelated note, I'm a big Lord of the Rings fan. I'm also currently reading the book Water for Elephants. Therefore, I would not be opposed to someone writing a parody book called Water for Oliphaunts. I just wanted to put that out there...

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