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Books & Poetry

Poem: Ode to Sleep

Books & Poetry

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This week’s Poet’s Corner contributor, Adelaide teacher and poet Louise Nicholas, looks at sleep – or the elusiveness of it.

Ode to Sleep

I’ve had it with you, Sleep, you dark elusive one.
So many nights I’ve lain in wait for you.
I’ve clean-sheeted the bed, guaranteed safe passage
through the yawning gaps of an Anita Brookner novel,
and still you leave me to stare down the moon,
out-shine the stars for brittle-eyed brilliance.

When did you become so parsimonious with your favours?

Time was I had only to down-lid the day
and there you’d be, eight hours at a stretch.
Now you’re playing hard-to-get.
I’d have to prick my finger on a witch’s whim
to get more than a passing nod from you.

I’ve had it with chasing you from one end of the bed to the other.

Count your own sheep, Sleep,
make your own hot milk,
and if you want me,
you’ll have to come and get me.

Louise Nicholas’ poetry has been published in various magazines and anthologies. Her collection “Red Shoes” was published in 1997 by Friendly Street / Wakefield Press, the chapbook “Large” by Garron Press in 2014, and the co-written “WomanSpeak” by Wakefield Press in 2009.

Readers’ original and unpublished poems of up to 40 lines can be emailed, with postal address, to A poetry book will be awarded to each contributor.



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