Radio, Rhythm & Rhyme

Tying together poetry, parenting, and advertising in a neat little package

Poetry Friday: “I Can’t Fall Asleep Now!”

I started off my Poetry Friday posts a couple weeks ago with a sonnet dedicated to my wife.  I then followed that with a two-stanza poem inspired by my two daughters.  I suppose it’s only fitting that I now feature something I wrote for my 2-year-old son!

Greyson was only about 4 months old when he started sleeping through the night,; however, up until that point, he was like most babies, crying every couple of hours for milk or comfort or both.  One evening, while mom was breastfeeding, I was at the computer thinking about all the reasons why a little boy might not want to go to sleep.  With the kind of imagination I have, it didn’t take long to start coming up with the most preposterous of circumstances – and so I began writing them down and seeing if I could come up with a narrative for a poem.  I completed almost three verses that night!

It was a very late night.

Over the course of the next few of weeks, I revised those three and added one more, then took it to my SCBWI critique group where I was told it might make a good bedtime picture book, if I could add another couple of verses.  So I sat down and worked on it…and worked on it…and worked on it.  I came up with a completed poem/manuscript that is long enough for a heavily-illustrated picture book, but may still need one more stanza.

And if I can ever figure out how to write that stanza, I will.  ;)

Here’s to you, my little dude!

“I Can’t Fall Asleep Now!”

If I fall asleep now, I might miss something good,
Like a giant parade in our small neighborhood
With free candy and loud bands, like all parades should.
I can’t fall asleep now – I might miss something good!

If I fall asleep now, I might miss something cool
Like a pink-spotted platypus out in our pool
Or a UFO landing on top of the school!
I can’t fall asleep now – I might miss something cool!

If I fall sleep now, I might miss something neat
Like a two-headed tiger with seventeen feet
And a licorice tail, heading right down our street!
I can’t fall asleep now – I might miss something neat!

If I fall asleep now, I might miss something fun
Like a tap-dancing elf on a cinnamon bun
Or a rainbow-striped dinosaur dressed like a nun!
I can’t fall asleep now – I might miss something fun!

If I fall asleep now, I might miss something wild!
Hey, who knows…I could be a werewolf-dragon-child –
Sporting fangs, flames and wings (and hair slightly re-styled).
I can’t fall asleep now – I might miss something wild!

If I fall asleep now, I might miss something weird –
What if Dad sprouts some antlers or Mom grows a beard?
If I’m snoring, I’d miss out – just like I had feared!
I can’t fall asleep now – I might miss something weird!

Then again…if I did start to fall asleep now,
When I dream, things get even more crazy, and how!
They’re way cooler and neater and weirder and –
Wow…
Guess I wouldn’t miss much, if I fell asleep now…

- Matt Forrest Esenwine

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6 thoughts on “Poetry Friday: “I Can’t Fall Asleep Now!”

  1. I’ve never seen this one Matt. Love it. It’s fun and funny and definitely needs illustrations. Personally, I don’t think you need another stanza, but then again, I’m not a poet so what do I know. :)

  2. Pingback: Picture Book Recommendation: BEAR SNORES ON « Opening a Can of Bookworms

  3. I have been there with toddlers and getting them to sleep – this poem really hits the spot! Thanks for sharing it. I apologize for slipping up on the roundup yesterday, and I am very grateful to Mary Lee for covering for me. I have you linked today though!

  4. Matt, what a great subject for poem and/or picture book. And how wonderful that you continue to find inspiration in your loved ones. Good news: you’re the winner of SOUNDING by Barry Marks! You can email me your mailing address to irene at irenelatham dot com, and I’ll get it right out to you!

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