monkeys-1-1309641-639x852This past Thursday I was among four poets who attended the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences’ Science Cafe lecture “Shining Evolutionary Light on Human Sleep and Health”. After the presentation we poets did some writing and read the results to the audience. You can watch it all on YouTube. If you’re just interested in the poetry, that starts at 1:09:30. Here’s the text of my poem.

“Make your bed!”
my mother said
but I had better
things to do.

Yet as I grow old,
I mean, mature,
I’ve discovered
that I prefer
the dreams:

Flying through the trees
of our ancestors,

Escaping predators,
heart pounding
as I jerk awake.

Considering how far
we’ve come from our nests,
now sleeping in concrete boxes
on chemical foam
as we pollute our sky
with perpetual twilight
long past the setting sun,
perhaps we should reconsider
these better things we’ve done.


About Bartholomew Barker

Bartholomew Barker is one of the organizers of Living Poetry, a collection of poets and poetry lovers in the Triangle region of North Carolina. Born and raised in Ohio, studied in Chicago, he worked in Connecticut for nearly twenty years before moving to Hillsborough where he makes money as a computer programmer to fund his poetry habit.
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3 Responses to Sleep

  1. Little Monster Girl says:

    It’s a beautiful poem.

    But maybe you are having these bad dreams because you are sleeping in a concrete box full of foam! That must hurt if you roll over and hit the sides! :o


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