“Death’s Counterfeit” – A Found Poem

Girl with lion

Sleep commands roughly one-third of our lives.
Some 25 years, on average.
Sleep – the equalizer of presidents and peasants.
Sweet, renewing, mysterious sleep.
Our nightly return
To what Shakespeare called
“Death’s counterfeit.”

We must discipline ourselves to go to bed
And force ourselves to get up.
Sleep overtakes us,
Consciousness fades.
We are essentially paralyzed.
The body is internally aroused
And externally calm.
We would be hard to awaken.
The night wears on.

Dreams – hallucinations of the sleeping mind.
So vivid we may confuse them with reality.
Many are anything but sweet.
Dreams are swallowed by the night,
Mostly forgotten by morning,
Yet so intricate and so seemingly real.
The dreamer later marvels at its creation.
How can our brain
So creatively, colorfully, and completely
Construct this alternative world?

Sleep protects.
Our distant ancestors,
They were better off asleep
In a cave, out of harm’s way.
Nature charges us for our sleep debt.

– P.B.

* * * * *
This is a found poem that I wrote three years ago for a creative writing class in
high school. 
The pieces of text were pulled from a chapter about sleep in
an AP Psychology textbook,
Psychology (9th ed.) by David Myers.

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