The first arc of light penetrates the pre-dawn grey of 5am

Reminding me that the battle between tiredness & insomnia

Was yet again won by my inability to relax & sleep

Frantic nerves splinter up my spine exploding in a crescendo of sparks

I breathe in deep & hold…



As expected, no reprieve from the unsettling churning of my insides

Closing my eyes to bring calm results in my head spinning & spiralling

Sickness has reached me as 6am sets in

Unable to sit still; I pace the moist ground & allow the wet grass to cool me

The cold does nothing to dissipate the wave of sadness

Bathed in the suns now stronger rays heat no part of my stone heart


7am melts into 8am as my confidence wanes

I fight for breath that has got stuck in my throat

Silence is the only sound reverberating from my mouth

I force a scream at last to welcome home 9am

The battle commences as insomnia finally bends the knee

Broken sleep & distorted nightmares ravage my mind

I awake suddenly in a cold sweat & thumping pulse


12pm has been & gone as I glimpse 1pm arrive

Hunger pains grab & savage my stomach yet I know no food will settle


2pm strikes me down as my legs finally give way under the weight upon my shoulders

I crawl towards 3pm but I get there late as 4pm seizes me by the wrist & twists

I yell & kick my way past 5pm as the daylight begins to recede

I stare at the bruise left by the 5pm fight blinking back tears


6pm drifts into 7 & then into 8

No ambient moments appear during the next hour as I sit, stand, pace & crawl


9pm lingers around the bend watching me from the corner of its eye

9pm finally stabs me into submission as the shadows engulf me whole

My limbs fall heavy around me as I stagger into 10pm

I beg for sleep to take me away but my pleas fall upon deaf ears

The wind & rain slash against my window as 11pm graces my life


11pm clings to my soul determined to drag me into midnight as slowly as possible

As midnight rings its bell my head explodes into streaks of blue light

I cradle my skull throughout the relentless ticking of the first hour of the new day


2am refuses to leave me alone & torments me as the minutes pass like hours

Darkness soon diffuses into a misty grey as the birds begin to ruffle their feathers & sing

They announce 3am with such joyous melodies & tones

The tone in my soul has no melody as the distorted bass throbs my existence

The moon waves a weary goodbye as he slides from view

The breaking of 4am shows storm clouds upon the horizon of ice & fog


The first arc of light penetrates the pre-dawn grey of 5am

Reminding me that the battle between tiredness & insomnia

Was yet again won by my inability to relax & sleep

Frantic nerves splinter up my spine exploding in a crescendo of sparks

I breathe in deep & hold…


© 2015 Unsub


  • Poetic Dan

    Only you could do this my friend
    Such talent for hitting home a struggle
    Your words truly say I'm not alone in a battle you speak, to resonate so deeply.

    Thank you for sharing

    • Unsub


      glad it resonated with you.

      You are not battling alone my friend,


    • Laura


      The longest twenty-four hour “loop”!

      Upon the first read, it reminded me of the thirty-six hours I spent in labor when I gave birth to my son!

      Of course your poem wouldn’t be describing my laborious experience of giving birth!

      If my son were to read this detailed twenty-four hour “loop”, he would tell you of his “snow” days of hell...a totally different story than mine!

      Depending on their own experiences, readers will have their own interpretation of your excellent written poem!

      Did the subject of your poem “exhale” at the completion of the first “loop”?

      I liked how you repeated the first stanza...very effective!


      As always...


      • Unsub


        just a loop of a particularly bad week although I thought a 24 hour loop was sufficient.

        Oddly enough I have never given birth so can't really comment but can see how the long waking period would be similar.

        Snow days? I've just written a poem for Lawless's son who suffers from visual snow...is this the same?

        I like to leave the final inhale there without offering an exhale.

        The repeated stanza was obviously the loop looping!

        Thanks for the read, comment & time spent chatting,

        much appreciated,


        • Laura

          No, I was not referring to visual snow!

          Don’t forget to eventually “exhale”! 😉

        • Goldfinch60

          What a wonderful poem Unsub, so very well written.
          These days may be a struggle but at least you know that you will arise each day with the dawn and surely that is much better than the alternative.
          With your strength and power you will win the fight and go on into the light.


          • Unsub


            yes the dawn never stops; it's stuck in the loop with me!

            Thanks for the positive outlook.


          • sylviasearcher

            Oh this one took me to a tough place...

            I wondered if when the light broke on the second day if the atmosphere would change but I knew it would not.

            Thanks for sharing I struggle to write more than a few lines of these kinds of feelings before they drown me. 😕

            • Unsub


              Oh I couldn't have a happy conclusion! A loop of Hell!


            • lcmcfadden

              7am melts into 8am as my confidence wanes......I so admire your writing.

              • Unsub


                many thanks for the comment,


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