The snow lies still

The snow lies still upon the rooftops.

From a few houses

smoke rises in a misty haze

and the streetlights blaze

like midnight suns.

All is silent

except the steady breathing of my toddler

whom I’m rocking back to sleep.

In the upper bedroom

across the street

insomnia reigns

and the blue lights of the television

flash out a noiseless dance.

But the snow lies still upon the rooftops

and silence greets my sleepy glance outside.

The Persistant Insomniac

Late at night

her eyes are wide open

as two full moons

beaming out in the dark.

Inside fires burn

flames flicker and refuse

the stillness of sleep.

 

She gets up

grabs her book

a sweater

a snack

and keeps a late night kitchen vigil

with insomnia…

–this date with quiet–

delicious silent solitude.

 

She feeds her soul

with bread and words,

then rubs her fingers together,

lights the surrounding gloom with sparks

and writes fire!

Sleepless Bluegrass Blues

The kids and I recently watched a documentary on Netflix called “Can You Canoe?” about the Okee-Dokee Brothers, musicians who paddled down the Missisppi River and wrote songs. Here’s the link if you’d like to see a preview on ITunes: Can you canoe?

So read this post as a bluegrass song with plenty of twang and a side of lively banjo…

I’m a stranger to the land of sleep

There are foreigners there, whose company I do not keep

And sometimes it’s enough to make me weep

To see the dawn rise upon my open eyes

I’m a stranger to the land of sleep. 

Now there must be, a secret lock and key

Something secure, but hidden from me

A way inside the sleepy isles,

Of that much desired country of sleep. 

So if you know a trick or two

A special drink, or ‘haps some ruby shoes

A certain way, to sleep before the day

Take me along, I’ll travel with you

As a stranger to the land of sleep. 

awake

In the dim, dark house

the furnace rumbles and blows

breathy hellos into the corner of each room.

In this airy darkness

I try to lie still

while my toddler—

having made his nocturnal migration

into my bed—

sleeps beside me.

The baby in my belly wiggles 

and flutters, 

hoping for a snack.

Such a boy…

not yet born

and already wanting breakfast before dawn.

Why motherhood, insomnia and writing are perfect bedfellows

1. As a mom you have tons of inspiration and new material every day: kids are so creative and unafraid to be original. Only a five year old making spanakopita with her mom would imagine that leaving the thicker stems on the fresh dill in the recipe might lead to jail time. 

If we leave the hard bits the people at the potluck will say “Ugh! Gross!” And then they might put you in jail. But I’d be sad cause I like you. But then we’d say it was an accident and we tried to take them off, and then they’d let you out again.

Whew! Who knew making spinach pie was so dangerous!

2. You might think moms get no “me time” to do quiet things like writing, but that problem is easily solved by insomnia. It’s very quiet at 1:30 am. Perfect for writing! After all, you can’t wash dishes or do laundry at this hour, so you may as well do something creative! 

3. If you don’t have insomnia, don’t worry: third trimester pregnancy will solve that for you! Between heartburn, baby kicks, and Braxton Hicks contractions you’ll be all set!

So you see, motherhood, insomnia and writing are perfect bedfellows! Just forget about the sleeping part…and rejoice in being a mom blogger!  

Dancing with Werewolves

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In the midnight darkness
put on your dancing shoes
Get up out of apathy
Break free from this werewolf skin
growing over you

Choose to dance
through the suffering
Strip away the heaviness
restricting you and breath

Find a way to dance
until that thick black fur falls off
Throw down those claws
and release those dreadful teeth

Let tears wash away
the moonstruck thief
whose madness has stolen your peace

Turn off all the lights
and dance at 2 am
Remember that beauty hidden deep within
the teenage passion for life
feelings too strong and deep to express with words

Reveal the maiden with the glowing skin
the one whose laughter shows the joy within
who can dance like nobody’s business
and loves to, even 9 months pregnant

You are that same girl
who danced in the Kootenays
laughing with Janine
as her blond hair fell over her face
and her arms wove a tapestry
in the half-lit room
filled with music

Mama’s Waiting to Hold You

Soon the stillness will be over
my night vigils will be broken by tiny cries
tiny eyes and tiny fingers
a little sweet mouth seeking comfort

A snuggle of a precious person
I’m holding for the first moment
of forever

Until then
you’ve wished to spend this time with me
your child
in silence and contemplation

to help me remember the depths within
buried by the business of day

Carry me the way I’m carrying her
because I need you just as much

Help me see in the fiery heartburn
and endless nighttime trips to the bathroom
the forge of your love

shaping me by these vigils of prayer
for the great work you have for me

entrusting me with another soul
a little person to love forever

Bless her abundantly
this little one squirming in my belly
and through her
bless the world

Random Silliness: Scotty Goes Exploring

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Let’s just say I couldn’t sleep, so this is the random silliness I got up to to distract myself from thinking about being awake. A friend’s mother gave us this giant Scotty bathroom tissue stuffed creature. At first I thought it was straight to the give away pile, but my brother and I laughed so hard over thinking about stupid things we could do with it, that it’s still here, exploring the world and having adventures.

Since I’m frequently up at night in the bathroom (gotta love the squished, almost 9 months pregnant bladder), I may as well have some fun with the Scotty creature. Someone’s gotta have some excitement!

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Thank you to my sweet brother who bought me this fun pen for my iPad!
Perhaps doing kindergarten style art will convince my body it’s way past bedtime and help me sleep… here’s hoping! 😉

Maybe then I could have enough brain power to actually finish the drafts I’ve been working on about leadership in learning and fostering peace in a warring world…but for now, it’s the adventures of Scotty, and me dreaming about soft pillows and happy sleeps.

On 2 am Poetry (and Chocolate Cake)

Oh the strange vigils of late pregnancy
when losing the battle between hunger and heartburn
means staying awake for the long haul
shuffling position in bed
and crunching tums like candy

Then taking long showers past midnight
and finally giving in to chocolate cake
at 2am
to appease that nocturnal belly beast
who jealously demands spoils
the way a dragon demands treasure

Only in this strange vigil of late pregnancy
would I be submitting poems to a prairie newspaper
at this ungodly hour
while eating plain yogurt with maple syrup
and sipping warm almond milk
to get sleepy

I wonder if I should go stare at the moon
with the ravenous racoons
who prowl my back yard

or stay inside and pray
cause it seems—
after the craziness of the day with kids—
that in this quiet moment
God wants to hang out
keeping me company in this sleepy solitude
as we wait together for the dawn of birth