Things written in the night

Sometimes I can’t sleep. When I can’t sleep I write. The first drafts of my poetry usually arrive in the night, or modifications to my fiction.

I was ruminating a few nights ago about travel, and as I couldn’t shut off I wrote down the poem that formed.


Considering it was completely dark when I wrote that, the writing itself didn’t turn out horrendously bad, but then I do have some practice writing without light. Ignoring my woeful penmanship, I wanted to discuss the poem. It’s a little hard to read so I’ll write it out for you.

I dream sometimes…
Of rocking to sleep in the
Seas embrace, salt scented
Air and warm hounds…

I dream sometimes…
Of waking up in new lands,
Of seeing the world and
Writing it all down….

I dream sometimes…
And weep, because these grand
Dreams will never be…

I dream sometimes…

I got a little maudlin, didn’t I?

I’m not sure why I chose the particular structure that I used, it just happened to work out that way. I suppose the repetition of the line ‘I dream sometimes’, like the rocking of a small boat in dock, provides a gentle rhythm for the whole. I think the sparse description emphasises the quick contrast between the happy dream and painful reality.

This poem described how I felt at the time; trapped and lonely, with no opportunity to escape. I don’t mind being on my own, but it has to be on my terms.

A few days after writing this poem I talked to my Dad and his wife about travelling. Dad only really started going abroad when he met his wife, he’s now been to several countries. I’ve never been anywhere. My grandad had been round the world thrice by the time he was my age. It seems Cawkwell’s and travel are afflicted by diminishing returns.

I want to travel, I always have but I’ve always been too scared to do so. In the last eighteen months though things have been changing, in me. Now the only thing stopping me is money, or lack thereof. I’ve done a little bit of domestic travel, mostly to Yorkshire and Nottingham, and memorably to London in March. There is nothing more uncomfortable than standing next to the toilet on a train all the way from Newark North Gate to King’s Cross, although we got one or two nice views.

I love travelling by train, I like travelling alone, though company is also fun. I’ve got to the point where I look forward to my next trip, which is the only thing keeping me going at times. I’m not going anywhere now until the end of January, when I’m going back to London for a long weekend. Other than worrying about how the hell I’ll pay for everything, I’m really excited. I’ll even do a bit of overtime at the day job if I have to so that I can go. After that I have no plans for travel next year.

I really would like to go to Download Festival again, and I’ll happily go alone if none of my friends want to go with me, but at the same time I want to go abroad to visit other friends. Unless something changes dramatically for the good soon, I can’t do both. It makes me feel sad and slightly inadequate, especially when I talk to colleagues who are having two or three holidays a year.

Drat, I’ve upset myself again. This is why I shouldn’t write personal posts before I’ve had my medication and a cup of tea. I’m not entirely sure if the point of this post, I suppose I just had something on my mind I needed to write out. Sometimes it helps; today not so much.


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