Because I Cannot Get To Sleep - Stephanie Fone

Because I Cannot Get To Sleep - Stephanie Fone

The George Crabbe Memorial Poetry Competition
1963 Crabbe Memorial Competition - First Prize
Adjudicator: Mrs Redwood Anderson, Leslie Missen, Paul Jennings

Because I cannot get to sleep

I snuggle down and count the sheep

And there before my shuttered eyes

Are sheep of every shape and size.

Sheep large, sheep small, sheep plump, sheep wild

And some with faces long and mild;

Sheep gaunt, sheep trim, sheep kind, sheep harsh

And one who sports a grey moustache;

Some with sly, topaz eyes, like cats

And some in woolly knitted hats;

Some with curled horns their ears beneath

And some with nasty, yellow teeth;

And beastly, noisy sheep, who make

Me realise I am wide awake.

So,

Because I cannot get to sleep

I snuggle down and count the sheep

And all at once there are, confined

Within the limits of my mind,

A flock of woolly sheep who wait

To jump in turn across the gate.

The first leaps, soaring in the air,

The next as if she doesn't care;

Then thick and fast they run and jump,

Some lightly land and some go thump,

Till one, with limid eyes of brown

Stumbles and brings a dozen down.

I rush to them to sort the mess

Quite shaken into wakefulness.

So,

Because I cannot get to sleep

I snuggle down to count the sheep.

Immediately I see them then

Waiting to trot into their pen

And though I might deplore such games

All of them must be given names.

There's Rose with her flirtatious manner

And a forbidding one called Hannah,

Phyllis and Garland, Jenn and Nel

And Aligander Pottiwell,

Bettina who's a trifle stout

And Melisande whose ears stick out,

Gladys and Maud and Lottie Smith

And names I can do nothing with

But toss them round and round my brain

Until I'm wide awake again.

So.

Because I cannot get to sleep

I snuggle down and count the sheep............

 

 

Copyright © Stephanie Fone 1963