Instead of Sominex

Write a sonnet tonight before you go to bed.
Just fourteen lines before you fall asleep.
Something to clear your far-too-cluttered head.
More fun than counting endless flocks of sheep.

The clock will tick.  The steady, tireless tread
of syllables across the page will keep
your sonnet moving rhyme to rhyme.  You’ve read
enough to know that’s not enough, so leap

into the far away, the distant long ago.
Are you the weary traveler, waylaid
and left for dead along some dusty road?

Trust drowsiness to rescue you.  Befriend
the emptiness.  Unravel your agenda.
Surrender to the silence at the end.


Against Envy

Never envy the peacock.  It cannot fly.
Beautiful bird, but the peacock cannot sing.
The song of the peacock is a loud harsh cry.

Pale birds, buoyant in morning’s endless sky,
climb, soaring and drifting, wing on wing.
Never envy the peacock.  It cannot fly.

Small birds open their beaks at dawn.  They vie
with melodies that make the woodlands ring.
The song of the peacock is a loud harsh cry.

Wild birds ride on winds that carry them high
above the hills.  They visit the Mountain King.
Never envy the peacock.  It cannot fly.

Tame birds in jeweled cages greet the eye
of night with quiet notes that cluster as they cling.
The song of the peacock is a loud harsh cry.

The peacock complained to Juno.  She told him why:
Beauty is yours.  You can’t have everything.
Never envy the peacock.  It cannot fly.
The song of the peacock is a loud harsh cry.


Meryl Stratford is a poet living in Hallandale Beach, Florida.

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2 Responses

  1. Dolores Vacca

    Thanks for sharing these precious poems, pertinent to the culture and ills of the present.

    Instead of Sominex, in a kind and caring manner, offers advice for soul searching and coming to terms with one’s past.
    Simply stated, the Peacock teaches “be careful what you wish for.” While one possesses a unique character trait or ability, one can’t have it all, but each is of equal importance and contributes to the betterment of all.

  2. Meryl Stratford

    In response to several comments, a quote from Leah Kloss: Yes, peacocks fly. There are videos. They get up to a garage roof, they come down from roosting in a tree, but they don’t fly in the graceful free way we think of as flying. They don’t gain altitude, ride wind currents, look down and think, “Hmm, where can I go now?”


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