ExhibitsSpoken Word & Art › Dead of Night

Dead of Night: Wakeful Haiku from the dark hours, by Bob Barancik

Read by Roxanne Fay, a Tampa Bay actress, novelist, and playwright.

It is 1 a.m.
a complete hour past midnight—
when will sleep arrive?

A dreamless sleep tells
no stories of what once was
or what will unfold.

Awake or asleep
my heart pumps blood through my veins—
It is not in vain.
My brain demands sweet glucose
and a steady thump, thump, thump…

I worry about
long wakeful nights without end—
but sleep comes to all.

Ambulance siren
is jarring at 3 a.m.
Life is alarming.

We love to slumber
but always fear for our life—
awake or asleep.

Sitting or standing
we can chant a deep low
into night's black ear.

I know a sadness
that is blacker than midnight—
but studded with stars.

The fitful dead keep
me awake at night with their
loud anguished silence.

When I die god will
wake me from the endless night
and let me see light.


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