Normally I write in verse or at least try to. This is something different and I chose prose as the tool. 




My pleasant summer afternoon vision from fifty feet above on the stone parapet of red carp in the dark bronze water of the mote with chattering white and green poplars has abruptly morphed into startled wakefulness in a rumpled bed at O dark thirty. 


My soulless sentinel, “Gieves” felt the need to protect me from having my obituary published with the headline “died peacefully in his sleep” by giving me an especially aggressive puff to start me breathing again. 


I have purchased this modern menial  to act as my guardian and protector while I sleep. However regrettably it comes with an attitude. Much like a middle aged English butler, it is diligent to the point of obsession. Further it tattles to the help! 


It demands my attention to the need for my mouth and nose be encapsulated by its mask. When not perfectly so; it hisses, farts and makes other obnoxious rants and ravings till it’s resolved. Having finally met its relentless standard of fit,  I can now attempt to sleep trusting in its obsessive monitoring and reaction to my nocturnal state. 


Each morning it sends a rather unctuous report to me, my therapist, doctor and lord knows who else about my  commitment to fit and constancy during the night. Should I choose to disconnect myself from its clutches, it reports this with haughty indignation to all and sundry through the magic of the internet. 


You see, ever since a stroke years ago,I have evidently a section of my brain that has gone rogue. It attempts to suffocate me while I sleep. It accomplishes this by halting my preternatural response to breathe. When this suicidal guerrilla war begins my soulless sentinel senses the ambush and provides a puff of air to startle my nervous system into taking a breath. 


Evidently, according to Gieves, these bushwacks occur on average,  5.1 times per hour while I’m asleep. His diligent application of a  light puff at just the right time is normally of sufficient pressure to get me breathing while not waking me. On this occasion it required enough energy to wake me up fully.  Thank you Gieves, that will be all. Wake me in the morning please!


Essay by josephus The PoetBay support member heart!
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Written on 2021-02-11 at 00:18

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Lawrence Beck The PoetBay support member heart!
An interesting, well-written essay.

I can acutely and sincerely empathise. You've depicted a situation with which I am, alas, familiar. And done so with wit and skill and an unburdensome thoroughness! Bravo Z!