I think it’s time for me to sleep
nestled down inside the deep
where the shadows of my dreams
split reality at the seams
another universe inside my head
that opens wide while I’m in bed
yet even when my eyes aren’t closed
this other world remains exposed
for me to wander and explore
all day long I roam and soar
until it’s time for me to sleep
nestled down inside the deep

~

When I write a poem, I usually start with a thought that pops into my head, and drift down the river of inspiration to see where it takes me. Sometimes the river dries up, and all I’m left with is a bunch of jumbled words, sometimes a line or two that sound good, but don’t go anywhere. (These I keep, calling them “bits and pieces that may or may not be inspiration”, so I come back to them later and maybe work them into something.) Sometimes a poem seems to jump out of my head and onto the paper (or into my laptop), complete, grown and mature, ready to go. Other times, I write something I know can work, but it just doesn’t seem quite right. It doesn’t flow. If a poem doesn’t flow, if there isn’t a rhythm, a beat, it frustrates me. This is odd, because I’m about as musically talented as your average goat.

Tonight, I’m sitting here typing away, wanting to post something but not sure what, and I end up writing a poem. I don’t like it, so I play around with it, re-word it, and change the title until I’m ok with it. But, it’s still not something that I want to post, so I keep thinking.

Or trying to think. I’ve had a long day, I’m getting tired. I think it’s time for me to sleep.

Aaaand… go. 7 lines of a poem are typed almost before I know it. Another 5 lines take a little longer, trying to get the rhymes to work. But then, something isn’t quite right. Something doesn’t flow. It’s missing something. I try adding more lines in the middle, but I can’t get it to fit the way I want it to, so I give up on that.
I re-read the poem, and realize the 3rd and 4th lines are the ones I don’t like. They don’t flow with the rest of the poem.

This is where I often get frustrated, and sometimes give up completely. But this poem, this poem is worth it. So I hash through it, rewriting those two lines till they fit, till they flow with the rest of the poem.

And the original lines:

dark shadows of my dreams
where reality splits at the seams

have become:

where the shadows of my dreams
split reality at the seams

Perfect. For now. I still think this poem, or at least the subject matter of the poem, could be expanded upon further. But that’s for another day. The poem works. It flows. And it is something I feel like posting today.

I do want to say that not all poems need a rhythm or a beat. Sometimes poetry flows one way, then another, and then another, all within a few lines. Sometimes they don’t have any rhythm at all. Not all of mine do. Some people might think this poem has no rhythm. This flow, or rhythm, is certainly not a rule that I judge other’s poetry by, it’s not a rule at all. It is simply something that I like to feel when I am writing and reading my poetry.

And now, I think it’s time for me to sleep.

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