Hell on Earth


It might be
the feeling of falling,
the expanding mushroom,
or the looming forms of the killing  gang
which triggers your  manic panic,
freeing the strangled scream
that brings you back.

In sleep
you cannot maintain that level of terror,
so you wake.

While you wait for your heart
to locate its resting beat,
you rationalise,
navigating the nightmare,
plotting its course,
hunting its cause.
You remind yourself
it was only a dream.
Reaching for reassurance,
you progress from chewed candy meditation
to itemising your brightest blooms,
plucking up jewelled previews
until you feel safe.

But when
every day
you wake slowly and late
your brain un-sieged by devilish make-believe,
yet you are the embodiment of dread,
you know your hell is real.


©Jane Paterson Basil

9 thoughts on “Hell on Earth

  1. Your poetry is so beautifully crafted. Nightmares plague my nights too. I’m trying to direct my dreaming but so far haven’t been good at it. I’ve heard lucid dreaming is possible with practice. ♥.


  2. Beautiful and terrifying and real and also some profound universality with this Jane. That sense of relief when we awaken cycles back to the sense of relief when we can sleep again. There is no real life, there is no dream life, there is just life… in a sense we are all in in together, some just care more about that particular aspect more than others. I am hoping for some relief for you, some quiet moments of peace, and I am encouraged to hear you say that things may get better. I love your whirling beautiful incisive voice my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

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