Sowing poems

May 30th, 2008

Last night I booted up the computer, stared at the screen, and shut it right back down. These foggy-mind days of sleep deprivation drain me; after the boys have gone to bed I am too tired to think clearly, to do anything deliberately, but when I try to go to bed my mind is frantically finishing off all the half-finished thoughts of the day. I try to capture them but they flutter faster than hummingbird wings – I can hear them whirring and see the blur of their existence but I cannot isolate an individual thought. I stare at the blank screen. I stare at the blank journal page. I hover over a poem that needs editing, pen in hand, but the words swim on the page and I cannot bring the presence of mind necessary for the deliberate work of revision. I have many many first drafts, practice poems, nice lines that need the deliberate work of revision but my mind balks from the task.

I know C will not wake up three times a night forever. I know it is just because he rolls onto his front and cannot roll back over – and the knowing of this keeps me awake, too, peeking into his crib constantly to make sure he is not trapped on his stomach slowly suffocating, the knowing of this keeps the sleep I do get light and troubled with a part of my mother-brain always listening for a cry of trouble. I know A will settle into his new big-boy bed and stop calling for Dada in the night – he wants Dada in the middle of the night, not me, but the call, of course, wakes me as well. I know this will pass and that I should simply accept this time for what it is: the time of my baby’s babyhood. A time to take advantage of the way sleep deprivation can, in fact, allow me to access sudden strange places of creativity. Maybe this is my season of drafts. It is spring, after all, here in this farming region. The time of planting. Maybe I should take a deep breath, learn from my farming in-laws. Sow now, reap later.