therapist’s advice


for insomnia

close your eyes

imagine yourself

in a place that delights


that night i imagine

hiking in the sierras.

soon discover how early

the sun slips

behind this

granite ridge.

rush to build a rock wall,

build a room of rock

below a rock shelf,

then dig out a depression

to fill with pine needles.


wriggle down into it

grip my rifle

against mountain lions,

bears who hunt this slope,

listen for panting

for the rasp of

dry footpads

across granite.


try to fall asleep

count bullets

instead of sheep.

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I've been writing mostly poetry for many years and have gotten a number of works accepted in publications and anthologies. I'm most interested in communicating with poets for whom craft is a high priority. I enjoy finding and commenting on poetic gems in other people's work. For my own work, I welcome polite comments, whether positive or critical.

12 thoughts on “therapist’s advice”

  1. I laughed out loud at the end. Wonderful piece. Not only for the twist but also how tight the imagery was. A pleasure to read Michael.
    (In my version of this – believe it or not I had something “very” similar when I was younger – my fortune was the panther guardian who slept at the mouth of the cave ensuring nothing would disturb my sleep).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes! And hiking through the Sierras was just one attempt at creating pleasant thoughts to lead me into sleep. Another was sitting on a beach in the tropics, enjoying the sun and surf, until the waves became huge, washing me out to sea. Or there was the ride on a lovely sailboat until we were chased and attacked by machine-gun toting pirates. Asking a neurotic to have pleasant thoughts should result in an immediate loss of the therapist’s license.


  2. Yes. I think this is me, too. Not hunting, but my happy place ultimately leads to a very anxious, intense, sweaty night terror. Defeats the purpose, no? Very well pulled together, too!

    Liked by 1 person

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