The Battle is Bound to Continue

She wears candles for eyes when sleep welcomes her home

Not for rest, not for slumber, but to dream all alone

Flames flicker and dance in the darkness of night

Eyes shut against it but wide open with fright


The shadows of thought play out their ploys

With deft calculations; her silence hears noise

Sorrows and fears fall unbidden like tears

Just beads of wax pooling into her ears


Dark human shapes act out their devices

By the light of two candles they raise sacrifices

The horrors of nations, of a friend, of a stranger

Keep telling their story to shed light on danger


For isn’t that what my mind’s trying to do–

Keep me prepared so I don’t succumb too?


“Stop it!” I scream. “I don’t want what you’re off’ring!”

I cap the candles, but their hats they keep doffing,

And clearing their throats, they take a new tack

For fear of the other isn’t all they hijack:

“Up next in tonight’s horror show, if you please:

Your restraints all set free, for we hold here the keys.”


In an instant the decent in me turns profane

I’m watching myself, but I can’t hear my name

I awaken, my voice hoarse from stifling sobs

Nothing happened, I’m safe from the violent mobs


So why am I drenched in the battles of night?

And why can’t I breathe? My chest feels too tight

“I’m Hitler. I saw them. I signed all the orders.

No, wait. I helped them: sneaked kids across borders.”


Grasping at comfort, I find no relief

For nothing is wrong. I was only asleep

I plead with my God to let me move on

My children need me with the coming of  dawn


Still shaken by dreams so strong that I woke

They’re just molded wax, but my head’s filled with smoke

And burning within my rent soul still glow

The snuffed out wicks of a dreamer who knows.



Nightmares have accompanied my sleep for as long as I can remember. I come by it genetically, but it turns out that my anti-depressant and my hormone sensitivity with PMDD also contribute to vivid dreaming. There is no rest for the weary.

The hyperlinked song is by The Avett Brothers. Titled “True Sadness,” I feel nothing but hope when I listen to its truth. I first heard it while driving the scenic way home from Windsor to Loveland. It seared into memory a Colorado sunset that I will forever treasure. Its title, words, and message, when blended with the image of a blue that yearns to be gold* reminds me that not all sadness is cause for mourning. Sadness may accompany the ending of day and yet speaks of beauty in pain and of hope for a brighter tomorrow.

*When I find it among my stored things, I have a painting from my sister of the “blue that yearns to be gold,” a term she coined from watching Colorado skies when we were teens [feel free to correct me, sis.]

2 thoughts on “The Battle is Bound to Continue

  1. Great song! Dumb question, but did you write that poem? Very deep and dramatic. Vivid dreaming does tend to wear me out too. A blue that yearns to be gold. I remember saying that. September or October of our Sophomore year of high school on a walk to Kelly’s, I think. It seems like we were learning about derivatives, though or limits (???) in Algebra II and I also phrased it “all things tend toward gold and blue.” I did a painting with that title? For you? I should do another one, that’s better so you may hang it up in your temporary domicile while the house building grinds forward.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I knew you had said it differently! And yes, trying to apply limits and the theorem of calculus (?) to our reality could explain why mathematics was not our forte. No question is dumb when voiced aloud, but I think it goes without saying that I wrote this poem;)


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