by J.M.D. Reid


Awake now.
Trying to forget
the inky shadow

Swirling with hate.
Smothering darkness.

Unable to move,
Unable to breathe.
The shadow
hovers closer.
Voices whispering,
death nearing

I just want to scream,
to cry out for help.
But my body is frozen
and the shadow draws

I just want to move,
to cry out for help.

But I can’t.
I’m frozen,
staring up
at the shadow
hovering above.

Drawing closer,
pressing down,
wanting to

Awake now.
Trying to forget
the darkness
above while I
lay helpless

Written 1/15/15 2:10 AM after waking up from the most terrifying sleep paralysis attacks I have ever had.  I wrote a guest blog about the Insidiousness of Sleep Attacks based off this experience.

9 thoughts on “Hovering”

  1. I can very easily imagine this being written after a sleep paralysis attack. I suffer from those, too – they are so terrifying! How often do you have them?

    Creepy feels – good job! I can totally relate.

    1. I went over a year and a half until this month. I’ve had two so far this year. The first one wasn’t so bad, but the one I wrote this poem on was absolutely terrifying. I’ve never had the hallucination hover over me like that before. It’s always been standing in my doorway. I wrote a guest blog about this one.

      1. I knew someone who used to dream of seeing a figure he could only explain as being himself, but a darker version of him. He was afraid that the dark version would eventually take over him. He would wake up gasping for breath – his fight or flight causing a physiological response.
        It seemed to be more prevalent in times of stress…

        1. Definitely. The attack I had before the one that inspired this poem was a weird one. As i was drifting off to sleep, I thought i heard someone enter the house, like it was getting broken into. My roommate was out of town, so it made me paranoid. Of course, it was nothing, then that night, I had the attack. While I was paraylzed, I was convinced that someone was ransacking my house and going to discover me lying helpless.

  2. Usually mine include the dark figure hovering over me..well on top of me holding me down , but during my worst one it picked me up and threw me against the wall. Most frightening thing ever, I could not sleep for months. Your poem really captured the fear, great job!

    1. That was the first time I ever had the dark figure hovering over me. That was the most terrifying attack I had. I wrote that poem minutes after waking up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *