The Somnambulator

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.

Published by mrteague

Teague McKamey lives in Washington state with his wife and two children. Teague’s poetry has appeared in several journals and in self-published books. He blogs at and In all areas of life, Teague desires that Christ may be magnified in his body (Php. 1:20).

4 thoughts on “The Somnambulator

    1. 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.


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