In the early 2000s, I became acquainted with the word “somnambulate,” which means to sleep walk. For some reason, the word amused me; I found myself thinking about it and about misadventures a somnambulator might have. (Incidentally, “somnambulator” isn’t a word…yet. Using poetic license, I’m starting a campaign to change that, 😉).
Some of those imagined misadventures found their way into a poem, which I got stuck on and eventually put away. Every few years I’d run across it and work on it again, with little success. In 2020 I finally pulled it together to my satisfaction, and included it in my first book of poems, The Wind and the Shadows.
As a poem, it is sort of silly and uses a form I developed. The rhythm is trochee. There are two couplets of pentameter and tetrameter, followed by quatrains of pentameter, tetrameter, tetrameter, pentameter. The fourth foot of the pentameter rhymes with the third foot of the tetrameter, and the fifth foot of the pentameter rhymes with the fourth foot of the tetrameter. Interspersed, is the refrain, “Not the somnambulator.”
This is one of those poems I hope amuses others, though it might just amuse me. I still can’t explain why 😆 If nothing else, this poem mentions ghosts, vampires, and zombies making it apropos for the beginning of October 🎃
The Somnambulator Many unsuspecting folks, they wake-up sweating with a jolt and quake. Not the somnambulator. Others lie awake, disturbed by kids who cannot stay in bed with shut lids. Not the somnambulator, leaving bed ‘til sometime later, weaving through the maze of furniture on soporific and nocturnal ventures. Poor insomniacs count sheep but bleat to death before they sleep a wink. Not the somnambulator. Some may claim they’ve seen a ghost at night, all Gossamer and afloat, what fright! Not the somnambulator, riding down the elevator, striding out into the street, he stalks the night with nothing on his feet but socks. Vampires laying in their tombs by day hunt all night for toothsome prey. Not the somnambulator. Star-crossed lovers sleep at loggerheads like timber jams the bog or stream bed. Not the somnambulator, walking like a zombie waiter, shocking caterwauling cats, he wakes up wondering where the heck he’s at and shrieks.
4 thoughts on “The Somnambulator”
Nice one! I cannot seem to get your Sing a song of sickness to load.
Thank you! I’m sorry the other isn’t loading!
Here it is:
“Sing a Song of Sickness”
Sing a song of sickness,
a pocketful of why.
Sore and spent from hacking,
aches make me cry.
When my crying’s over
my eyes begin to sting.
Pleasant is the pain-free wish
but doesn’t mean a thing.
My dreams are in their doubting house
doubting sun is sunny.
Foreseeing plays the martyr
eating dread with honey.
I’m praying but I’m guarded,
and only God knows
why someone would spite their face
by cutting off their nose.
I like it!
Thanks! I appreciate you stopping by and commenting 😊