Sleepless Night

A.H. Browning


In fading light at end of day
In growing shadows cast around
I search and offer endless prayers
With worn expression, without a sound

My hope of finding any traces
Of refuge or familiar faces
Erodes as slowly night embraces
In portending twilight lay me down

I continue here most every day
And often seems I’ve lost my way
As desperation stirs inside
No rest, no peace, no place to hide

While others sleep in blissful night
Neath starry sky’s lit peaceful beacons
My thoughts become a haunting ghost
Unrelenting, and my heart weakens

All through the sable and endless night
In baneful visions of my own making
The tempest casts me where it pleases
Restless, consumed and my heart aching

Yet shall I feign in hope perchance
Midst arduous journey to morning’s light
In sleep’s elusive, untroubled pardon
Where darkening malaise and sorrow take flight

In midnight hours, past end of day
Lost dreams torment, forlorn I stay
Till morning’s light brings pains of waking
Anguished, despairing and my heart breaking

From troubled hours beyond dark forewarning
I’m washed ashore incipient morning
And here again I relive my plight
Of uneasy passage through sleepless night


Copyright © 2018 Twenty Seventeen, LLC



  • Author: A.H. Browning (Pseudonym) (Offline Offline)
  • Published: June 10th, 2018 19:08
  • Comment from author about the poem: Sleepless nights. Been there, done that. Not the occasional, normal restlessness that everyone experiences from time to time. Rather, the relentlessly occurring sleepless nights that can go on for weeks, months and even years. Grief, anxiety and depression, among other things, all sought to live and grow at my expense. The circumstances surrounding these unwelcome emotions are personal and subjective, yet very real. In my personal experience, if I am unable to sleep for any reason, whatever is bad or troublesome in my life is only going to get worse. The body needs sleep to survive. After watching the darkness get darker for years, I decided to try to fight; not because I had the strength to do so, but because I was very desperate. From my perspective, this has been nothing less than a fight; no more sitting on the sidelines, waiting for “things to get better”. This fight required me to actively search for elusive answers. I had to ask many questions. I had to be willing to take advice from someone besides myself; sometimes accepting truths that I do not want to be true. I had to make many changes in every aspect of my life; not all at once, but moving forward, little by little every day. Don’t misunderstand, I have not “arrived”, and I do not have all the answers, I never will; mostly, I still have many questions. But for the first time in decades, I feel hopeful. Yeah, I was very surprised. In my experience, nothing happens overnight. This is my long journey that requires me to be as vigilant and possible. For any successes I’ve have, I make mistakes, but I try to learn from them and keep going. In 2017, I started writing. This poem, Sleepless Night, was my first poem. It took a few months of writing and rewriting for me to complete. While writing this poem, I discovered that I enjoyed the process of writing; it was very consuming in a helpful way. I was able to name and confront an issue that had intimidated and ruled me for a long time. My life continues to include complications, aggravations and setbacks; however, I have not had the kind of sleepless nights I wrote about in many months now, and that’s fantastic.
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  • User favorite of this poem: DesertWords.


  • Evergreen

    Your poem really moved me. I like how you took something personal and expressed yourself through writing.

    • A.H. Browning

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Much appreciated.

    • SLR

      Insomnia can feel like it's making you go insane little by little. I understand completely. But you're right, writing is great therapy. Love the pic too.

      • A.H. Browning

        Thank you very much for reading and commenting. I never realized until recently how powerful and also healing writing can be.

        • SLR

          I rushed myself learning to read so that I could write. From the age of five I've used writing as therapy. I always written my feelings down, not for anyone to read but for me, as an escape. Very therapeutic. Always worked better for me than talking it out with someone else. I never felt like anyone else understood me. Still don't really, although there are a few in my family now that try a little harder to.

        • Syd

          Hi there, this is a great poem. I'm glad to hear that you no longer suffer from sleepless nights.

          Take care - Syd

          • A.H. Browning

            Thank you for your comments. Much appreciated.

          • Draven

            An amazing piece of writing.

            • A.H. Browning

              Thank you very much for looking and your kind words.

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