Peter Brun: ‘The insomniac’s lament’

The insomniac’s lament

When sleep won’t come and nights are long
You wish that you were dead.
And try to sleep, you’ll just prolong
A night awake in bed.

You toss and turn all through the night
And boring books may read,
And soothing mantras you recite
But none of them succeed.

Your doctor gives you sleeping pills
But they just make things worse.
He recommends pre-bedtime drills
But they just prove perverse.

You try the tricks of relaxation
To still your troubled mind,
Including Buddhist levitation
But they’re a night long grind.

Then listening to the radio
Could well divert your thought,
Or try a Bach adagio
If you’re the classical sort

Or counting to one hundred thousand,
Backwards might be good,
Or something sexu’lly arousing
If your partner only would.

A long walk after dinner may be a better bet,
A glass of scotch as well.
With any luck four hours you’ll get,
The rest a night of hell.

Peter Brun

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