Sleep Sonnet 1
The Angel called Alana whispers by,
And wrests away your day’s unpleasantness.
The wings–so soft, so strong, their flight is nigh,
A journey Morpheus will surely bless.
Shades: people, places, faces, books, combine
With triumphs, stress, your day’s routine events.
The Angels blend your thoughts, distilling wine
Unique to you in taste and bouquet’s scents
This wine they place upon your tongue reserves
Your seat upon the train that passes through
A broad pastiche, a vault of thought that serves
To magnify, create a story, too—
A Yahtzee cast of dice within your brain
A tale both wild and rich, if half-insane
Sleep Sonnet 2
Your grandma taps and twirls with Fred Astaire,
While Gwyneth Paltrow gloms a rare roast beef.
Bob Dylan hugs a purple grizzly bear,
And Billy Graham—so high—chews coca leaf.
A unicorn devours the grassy knoll,
Kate Hepburn, hands the Yahtzee dice to you
You score a straight! Then Elvis takes his roll.
The dice spell out, “Grab hugs and mem’ries too.”
Your sad good-bye so quickly seems to come,
To choc’late rivers, trees that laugh and sing;
To cocoanuts pre-filled with spicy rum,
To tumbleweeds who—tumbling–loudly ring.
The train’s familiar whistle beckons you
To look around and bid this world adieu.
Sleep Sonnet 3
A dozen colored lambs soft-gently lead
You to your station platform, sere and stark;
Bob Dylan and his bear bring books to read.
Ms. Hepburn slips you chocolates white and dark.
Your grandma waltzes up for final hugs—
Her feel, her scent familiar as your hands—
She brings a tiny swarm of lady bugs
To guide you safely through these foreign lands.
Too quickly sounds a bell—its toll complete,
Your friends all raise a heartfelt parting cheer.
Soft angel hands escort you to your seat,
Past rows and rows into the coach’s rear.
Dear friends who saw you off, through windows fade.
Your dream retreats, your ticket punched and paid.
Sleep Sonnet #4
No fantastic journey this–just gray.
The faces of your boss with projects due
And classless slime who’ll stab your back today.
Cruel traffic jams are tailored just for you.
Spoiled rotten clients slam your latest work:
“Rank amateurs could do a better job.
“We’re just not going to pay,” declares one jerk.
If only you could run away and sob.
Your grandma charges through the heavy mist.
Her face is stern, her dancing joy dissolved.
“You disappointing whore, do you exist
“To be a one-night-stand, no ring involved?”
You scream out in your coach, “This once was nice!
“What happened here?” Your blood runs cold as ice.
Sleep Sonnet #5
The mist retreats, as morning sunlight burns
And reassures you, now you’re safe from harm.
Your angel–glowing, beautiful–returns.
You melt into her smile; she takes your arm.
Soporific Hypnos, god of sleep,
And Morpheus—his son—the god of dreams
Relax upon the floor on pillows deep
Your angel brought you to this place it seems.
“Your pitiful subconscious mind is sure,”
God Morpheus explains with rolling eyes,
“That Grandma dearest—gag—was certain you’re
“On track to waste your love on men whose lies,
“Whose promises mean nothing: they won’t leave
“Their wives, and when you die, no one will grieve.”
Sleep Sonnet #6
In his left hand are cards of glowing blue
“Upon these cards appear deep-seated fears
“That Grandma—Gag, again—died thinking you
“Will cry away your life with bitter tears.”
In his right hand are cards of glowing red.
“Upon these cards appear dear Grandma’s place
“In Heaven, where the righteous go when dead,
“And reap rewards for lives of love and grace.
“With lemon sun and endless fields of flowers,
“Eternity of joy so pure,” he drawls,
“That time is gone. Not minutes, days, nor hours
“Will limit them: no clocks, no curtain falls.”
The Dream God yawns, blasé, “This heaven’s where
“Dear grandma cuts a rug with Fred Astaire.”
Sleep Sonnet #7
“Now take thy leave,” said Hypnos. “Go away.
“Just clasp thy angel’s hand, and board thy train.
“Go home. Go out for breakfast. Start thy day.
“To us, ’tis no concern, thou human stain.”
Alana takes your hand; you pull away
And shout, “But all these things I’ve seen
“Which ones are real? The terrors in the gray?
“That lovely world with meadows lush and green,
“Where grandma (Morpheus gags) could laugh and dance?
“Where ev’ryone was glad, the sunshine bright–”
“Dear Zeus!” He spat. “What vomitous romance!
“Both Heav’n and Hell have crossed your path tonight.
“And real?” He strew your cards upon the floor.
“Your answer’s there; I’ll tell you nothing more.”
Sleep Sonnet #8
Your angel called Alana takes your hand
And leads you ‘cross the platform to your train,
Which carries you through rich and verdant land.
The clacking wheels tap out a jazz refrain.
You point back toward the station. “He’s a jerk!
“Just who the hell–” “Respect please! He can be
“Abrasive, yes, but quite adept at work.
“For he’s the god who shows what you can’t see.”
You ponder for a moment. “What’s that mean?
“Explain to me just what I cannot see.”
“The forest for the trees,” she said. “You’ve seen
“Your deepest fears, and hopes for what will be
“When you have crossed the veil and learned your fate.
“You’ve seen your dreadful hell and heaven great.”
Sleep Sonnet #9
Alana’s words have fogged your weary mind.
The train continues, steady, through the hills.
Your angel’s smile is warm; her gold eyes, kind.
“Poor humans and the gods, with clashing wills.”
Amused, she shakes her head. “You never learn
“The sway immortals hold in daily life.
“The dream gods play, and leave you to discern
“What’s fact or fiction, peace or endless strife.”
Alana says, “In dreams, you sort it out.”
She kisses you good-bye and fades to light.
You cry, “Don’t go!” She says, “I must. Don’t pout.”
“I’ll see you when we go again tonight.”
You wonder if the gods see you, alone,
Inside this coach, where once your angel shone.
Your destination slowly nears
The station lovely, it appears
As sunlight creeps toward the dawn.
You wish that you could journey on,
But you’re aware the trip ends here:
No glowing joy nor crippling fear
You frown, confused, and wonder how
You reached this depot, empty now,
But brightly lit, so blindingly,
As mem’ries fade fast, fleetingly
“I must remember them, I must!”
And still they crumble into dust.
So weary, now, at journey’s end.
You battle Hypnos, hope to fend
Away this urge to curl and sleep.
Inside the station blares a beep.
It’s keeping you awake, you fume,
From in your bed, inside your room.
You brush your teeth; you take your shower,
And curse the early morning hour.
A dreary, mortal’s day for you,
And so the cycle starts anew.
You wipe the mirror clear of mist,
And rub the spot Alana kissed.
(tom sanchez, Saint Petersburg, Florida, November 2013)