All over the world people can’t sleep.
In different times zones they’re lying awake
Bodies still, minds trudging along…
some are too cold, some too hot…
Some under bridges…
some hungry, some in pain…
Some get up
Others stay in bed
They eat oreos, or drink wine
Or both
Many read…
Some check their email
They try sleep tapes, hypnosis, drugs
They listen to their clocks tick…
hoping to catch a ride on the steady sleep breath of the other
to be carried like a seed on the body of one who is able.
Right now in Japan dawn is coming, and everyone who’s been up all night is relieved;
they can stop trying In Guatemala though the insomniacs are just getting started
and have the whole night ahead of them.
It’s like a wave at the baseball stadium,
hands around the world.
So here’s a prayer for the wakeful
The souls who can’t rest
as you lie with your eyes open
or closed
May something comfort you—a mockingbird, a breeze,
the smell of crushed mint
rain on the roof,
Chopin’s Nocturnes
your child’s birth
a kiss,
or even me—in my chilly kitchen
with my coat on—thinking of you

~Ellen Bass, from “Insomnia” in Mules of Love 

Photo: “Insomnia” by Alice Rose Photography. Poem, thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels)


  1. I’m reading this at your wake up time after flipping sides for the past two hours. I look at the clock and think, I still have two hours. Please. Morpheus, gimme some!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Good morning all – with the Internet back, I have spent far too much time catching up and drinking coffee – not that either was necessary at O:dark-thirty…blessings to all the sleep-encrusted eyes that are itchy and bleary and open.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Having several dear friends who suffer from insomnia, I read this with a shudder of understanding as to what they experience. I have largely escaped this curse, but when plagued from time to time, my empathy is magnified.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. A lovely wish for all who suffer with this

    Liked by 1 person

  5. That’s where I’ve been for two weeks!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad I’m not alone! Oops! That sounds like “misery loves company.” Didn’t mean it that way.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I did not suffer from insomnia until after the first(?!) pandemic year. Idk, maybe it’s the summer, maybe it’s this, or that, or maybe I just bank on having to nap the next day (and having the luxury to do so, thought I hate doing so!). One thing is for sure: Wine has the opposite effect it used to have — up til 4 a.m. or more, then!

    Liked by 1 person

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