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.