Contra Donne

Death humbled is no more than brief sleep.
So says Donne, impudent, confident poet.
But if rest and sleep be just poor pictures of death,
What then of sleepless nights, of restless sleep?

Are nightmares harbingers of hell?
Do we toss and turn, each long night, in sleepless beds
As we will, one eternal day, toss and burn in hell?
Ah, please, God, no.

It is eternity enough to lie with wayward thoughts
Black as a moonless starless sky
Dark as lowering unplayful clouds
Restless as winds that gust only regrets
Toppling my flimsy barricades of excuses.

Death, though humbled, remains powerful
Storm enough to sink sleep
Leaving me stranded on a dark sea of doubt
Treading memory’s wakefulness
As buoys of peace graze my eyelids
Only to surge away.

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