The Beauty of Insomnia

Ball-moon bobbing in an ink sea-sky,
spangled Milky Way swirling silently by,
dreams on a poplar-shimmer breeze,
stirring sleeping swallows under the eaves,
wide-eyed frogmouths, owls, nightjars

blinking back at a billion stars

***

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32 thoughts on “The Beauty of Insomnia

    • Thanks, Charles. I invariably hear an owl if I wake between midnight and about 3 – it’s a lovely sound πŸ™‚ Do you have many nocturnal birds in your area?

    • Haha – who wants to sleep, indeed? Particularly when out in the wilds – the night sky is beyond belief – and the absence of manmade noise is wondrous. Thanks, Monica

    • The night sky comes into its own in the desert, doesn’t it? I reckon it’s probably pretty good where you are as well – not like the Big Smoke πŸ™‚ Thanks, Gabe

    • Thanks and you’re welcome, Nancy πŸ™‚ There are a few more time lapse videos by Pascal Christian on Vimeo that are worth watching.

    • Thanks, Selma πŸ™‚ I used to think I’d like to come back as an African Fish Eagle, but I think being an owl would be much more interesting πŸ˜‰

  1. Just thought I would let you know that your poems and photos are just as wonderful to read and see the second and third times – and more – as they were the first.

    • I am so touched and flattered that you would revisit my posts and show your appreciation again, Monica. What a wonderful, wonderful compliment that is. Thank you πŸ˜€

      Congrats on the publication of ‘Wild Wolf Encounters’! I’ve received it and am going to savour it over the weekend. First impressions are that I absolutely love the photo that you chose for the cover and think that the format, and page and font colours are perfect. I also had a sneak-peek by choosing a page at random and had a laugh at ‘Prints in the Mud’ and the grizzly behinds πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Bluebee! I am so glad that Nancy sent me over here! I adored the video! I so bemoan the fact here that the environment is seldom dark enough to get as clear a view of the heavens, but sometimes it is, and I often go outside to look. I only recently have begun to take night photos, and since I got my timer I will definitely be trying my hand at time-lapse. Thanks for the inspiration. As Nancy told you, I am a Professional Insomniac (by trade πŸ˜† ) I am now ashamed (sort of) of my whining “Insomniac’s Prayer,” but you might get some enjoyment out of it! At least I had fun writing it! I will post that here for you, but I put up several months ago a photo my brother had taken of the sky around the North Star – an open shutter shot that went on for the whole night, and shows the track of the stars all around it. It’s really neat, and you might enjoy seeing it. You can find that here: http://paulatohlinecalhoun1951.wordpress.com/2011/03/27/star/

    Here’s the poem:

    Dear Lord:

    The night is quickly fading, now day is drawing nigh,
    And for not one single second
    Has sleep closed either eye,
    Throughout the hours from dusk to dawn.
    With neither snore nor drowsy yawn
    Did anything resembling sleep –
    No cat-nap even tried to creep
    Up on me, like a silent thief,
    Nor brought with it that sweet relief
    for aching body, tired mind –
    Naught of respite, any kind!
    So now I sit upon my bed,
    Not dreaming, but awake, instead.
    Please God: help me to repair
    My ragged, raveled sleeve of care.
    Find someone else to count these sheep –
    I really need to get some sleep!

    • Hello Paula πŸ˜€ and welcome to my blog

      Your ‘Insomniac’s Prayer’ is excellent, haha. Thanks for sharing it and making me laugh. I think that if I was a Professional Insomniac, I would not think it so beautiful either πŸ˜‰ John’s photo is brilliant. It is really difficult to see the true beauty of the night skies near the big cities here too (it seems to be better in autumn and winter) but the deserts are perfect spots for stargazing. Looking forward to the astronomical photographic fruits of your insomnia πŸ™‚

      • Well, in the Northern Hemisphere, the North Star is the “center of the sky,” so everything revolves around it – making those perfect inscriptions on the sky. He took that photo 30 years ago, I think – or somewhere around that time. I’ll tell him you liked it. (The star poem was posted as a Christmas/Epiphany entry, and is actually the lyrics to a song I wrote many years ago.)

        BTW – and please know that I am not the least bit upset – this is FYI only. You made a very common error with my name. It is Paula. People frequently call me “Pauline” because my full name is displayed – including the “Tohline” which has the “line” ending. I hang on to my middle (maiden) name because there are only about 30 of us in the entire world, and I like to keep the name going. Not enough males reproducing male offspring to multiply us, I’m afraid.

        Thank you again for your visit and comments! πŸ˜†

    • Thanks, Kate πŸ™‚ It’s not something that afflicts me too often but when it does, the sound of a resident owl tempers the irritation and provides an inspiration

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