From early in 2016: one of my favorite rhyming poems…

Every night I drift to sleep
As darkness makes me blind
And yet my vision attenuates
With my sharply focused mind

I travel over a thousand miles
To a hostile, forbidding land
The witching hours drag so slowly
Moon lights the evil plan

The hungry mouths, the feral eyes
So dreadful is their gaze
Circle round with deadly purpose
Muscles tighten and I brace

They are confident that I am caught
But I’ve yet to meet my end
With guile and cunning, I make my move
On this my life depends

When I have dodged and feinted
I smell their fetid breath
As I flee into the forest
I escape those jaws of death

It’s only upon awakening
Chilled, yet dripping wet
That I realize the nightmare beasts
Haven’t killed me yet

Unquiet Mind

In that foggy intermediate state between sleep and wake, the dream starts.  No.  Not a dream.

Unease, a tingle at the base of the skull, finds a spot and waits.  The unease creeps along the spine, quick and determined.  When it gathers its strength, it transforms itself into fear.  The fear is a living thing, which detaches itself, now a beast.  The beast has tentacles.  Each dreadful tentacle coils and uncoils, nearly touching, not touching.  It stays just out of the field of vision. Only detectable by a shift in the air.

The heart squeezes, blood races through constricted vessels. Each breath comes in short, shallow gasps. The eyes slam open.  To nothing. Darkness. Solitude.

A gentle breeze sighs through the open window.  The cicadas hum. It’s the only noise.

Except for the pounding of the heart. And the crackle of the unquiet mind.