Poem Hunter
Human Folly
( / Hull, East Yorkshire, England)

Human Folly

Poem By Aftab Alam

There are times when I can’t sleep
so I lay awake and think
or just dream of all the things
that might have been, but soon
new thoughts and old come crowding in
to people every corner of my brain.
Unsmiling, humourless, they clamour
for attention, push and jostle
to the front, shout out demands.
Oh, what an ugly leprous-
featured crew; so hard they try
to tie me in their tangled threads
of pseudo-logic and unreason.
I turn and toss, bemoan the loss
of peaceful sleep. Then come
the conversations, imaginary ones
wherein I seek to justify
myself from accusations never made
or formulate neat answers—
brilliant ripostes, the ones that never came
in those encounters that were real.
And after conversations,
it is time to bid a welcome
to remembered humiliations,
embarrassments and tribulations.
See them march in rich array
across the darkling plain;
you may have thought them dead
but here they are, alive and well!
Oh woe is me! Who’d wish to be
an insomniac? How we each long to see
that little crack of light begin to creep
beneath those curtains when we cannot sleep.

User Rating: 5,0 / 5 ( 1 votes ) 6

Comments (6)

Thanks a lot for the dedication Pete. It's a lovely poem.
You can be haunted in your sleep and haunted too badly to sleep, how to win?
Insomnia is such an intriguing subject, and you have a juicy slice of it here. If you're interested, check out Andrew Konisberg's 'Insomnia' as well. Different experience but shared pain. And isn't that what it's all about? Take care, Lori.
Thanx Max! You're right. But short of rewriting the whole, I have taken out the rhyme in line 29. However I'm always happy with a couple of rhymes right at the end of a non-rhymed poem. I think they sort of emphasize the conclusion - Pete
Peter, your description of the unpleasantness of insomnia is concrete and therefore vividly effective. My only 'critique' of it as a poem would be that you have so many rhymes, why not find a regular rhyme scheme, for the sake of the rhythm, which a reader consciously or unconsciously always feels.