Night wanderers

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All alone beside the streams
And up the mountain-sides of dreams

I also dwell in the land of Nod
where the murderous Cain was driven
days are too long and the darkness disturbed
with cries of the unforgiven

in this wide-awake turn-about restless space
you can hear the faraway slumbering
an easy sleep in the earth’s embrace
coddled and virtually wandering

body clocks tick off their somnolent hours
by a pendulum swing of the moon
stars look down between meteor showers
– but some of us tap out a different tune

reach for the switch that casts off night frights
glance at those clock hands, the darkest hour sky
dread full comes daytime with dawn’s cursèd lights
bewitched by the second hand watching time fly

a countdown to sleep lost in vague flocks of sheep
then one breaks away and a search must begin
scouring the thought scape, dredging the deep
unconscious ’til then of the grit of our sin

I also dwell in the land of Nod
instead of a pillow my head on the block
damned with the others who all ride roughshod
over the face of the midnight blue clock

Opening line from R. L. Stevenson’s  ‘The Land of Nod‘ which is a far cry from the biblical landscape of Genesis where sleep must have come hard to Cain (Nod=wandering in Hebrew). I’ve used rhyme here as a contradiction and counter to sleeplessness in this poem for the Toad’s prompt: Of Insomnia and Sleep