Zero Hour Composition

At times I will get a notion
of a poem I want to write.
Often it has its inception
nearly on the stroke of midnight.

A feral idea crawling
gains an entry into my head.
I cannot ignore its calling
even though I remain in bed.

Could it be you know the feeling
of a thought that’s too appealing?

– – – – – – – –

I could not find an image of an actual feral idea, so I thought a black Jaguar would be a nice stand-in. For lack of a proper name for it, I am calling this poem form an English Dwarf Sonnet. Instead of 14 lines of iambic pentameter, it is 10 lines of iambic quadrameter.


  1. I think the jaguar is a perfect stand-in for a feral icon.
    My muse usually wakes me about 4 in the a.m. I keep
    pen and paper beside my bed.I have learned better
    than believing the idea will wait into morning. Much
    enjoyed and identified your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you Sarah. I have mentioned before that I used to compose stories in my head while I was mowing. That has been beneficial ever since. I can compose a poem in the middle of the night and still have it the next morning.


  3. Hi Michael

    A perfect way to describe that idea that prowls for its voice in the middle of the night. I have been in that situation and know that feeling so well !

    A feral idea crawling
    gains an entry into my head.
    I cannot ignore its calling
    even though I remain in bed.

    Wonderful analogy here and a perfect pic to complement your poem. I enjoyed this and can entirely relate.
    Thanks so much for sharing,

    My best

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Your thoughts resonate with me, and I like the “feral” attribute. I find myself with all sorts of compulsions: not just late-night poetry but also ideas. I keep a pen and notebook beside the bed. When I read it later, it’s usually unintelligible or if not, nonsensical.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you Steve. Nonsense poems can be fun; I’ve written a few and used to contribute them to a “bad poetry” topic on a board which no longer exists. I have always said you have to be able to write reasonably good poetry in order to write bad poetry for fun. At least, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

    Keep writing down those poems and ideas and one of these days you’ll find a gem when you read it later.


  6. Nicely done! A wonderful flow to it. And you never know when an idea will hit. O hate when I’m unable to get it down right away, and bu the time I can it’s gone. There’s one of those that is haunting me.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you! If you read my profile you will know why I can’t use pen and paper. Throughout my life, I have formed the habit of working on stories and poems in my head while performing other tasks. I’ll tell you some of my tricks, and maybe they will work for you.

    1. As I work out the wording of each line, I rehearse it in my mind a few times. And every so often I will go back over what I have composed so far. If I catch myself losing something, I go back over it again to refresh it.

    2. If it is the middle of the night, as this one was, I especially try to fix in my head the end rhymes. That way, if I can’t recall the whole line I can usually get it back with the end rhyme.

    3. If it is a verse without end rhymes, then my key is each line’s subject. For example, in this haiku:
    patient winter waits
    until gaily-clad autumn
    has its fun and leaves
    my key words were patient, gaily-clad, and leaves.

    4. It may sound trite, but a very key element is believing that I will remember what I write. My “mantra” is: If it is worth writing I WILL remember it until I can get it on a page.

    5. Finally, you learn it the same way you “get to Carnegie hall” – practice, practice, practice.


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