Asleep from the World (a poem to inspire)

"Asleep From the World", a painting by R.A. Brook
"Asleep From the World", a painting by R.A. Brook | Source
By Rachael Brook
By Rachael Brook | Source
Rachael Brook
Rachael Brook | Source

Some Background.

My wife Kathy once worked as a carer in a respite home for people who for one reason or another were confined to spending their lives in a wheelchair. While working there she met a cheerful and intelligent young lady named Rachael, who though living with cerebral palsy and having little control of her arms, body, or speech, was an inspiration to all around her. (Rachael calls herself "the Twisted Fairy")

On getting to know her, Kathy found that Rachel was a mouth artist and actually had a studio and gallery where her work was displayed. The result was the exchange of artwork. Kathy stitched an art quilt titled "TheTwisted Fairy" for Rachael in exchange for the above painting "Asleep From the World". Unfortunately we don't have a photo of the quilt.

While working at the respite centre Kathy actually suffered a severe back injury which ended her working career, and along with an existing condition of scoliosis, left her in constant pain. This, along with more recent diagnosis of fibromyalgia and sleep apnea have made the painting "Asleep from the World" even more appropriate.

This poem is inspired by the painting, but I wish to stress that it is my own interpretation and not that of either the artist or the owner.

Source

Asleep From the World

by John Hansen (c) 2014


Storm clouds gather overhead

They create a swirling sky.

She throws the mirror on the floor,

Her reflection makes her cry.


To all she is an angel,

But her wings have never flown.

Her body's bent and twisted,

But it's all she's ever known.


The Sandman offers refuge,

A safe harbour from all cares.

She reclines upon her wooden bed

On a quilt of patchwork squares.


Though the world around is tainted

With cruelty, greed, and death,

Her slumber is her haven,

And she smiles with every breath.


Cruel words and sideways glances

Fade away as eyelids close.

Dreams replace frustrations

As she lies in sweet repose.

Source

As the clock strikes four, she's dreaming

In the midst of REM,

Mixed up thoughts crisscross her mind,

Scenes from now and then.


There's an old abandoned graveyard,

Headstones all green with moss.

But one stands out among them all,

An ivy covered cross.


Who lies in the grave beneath

Is not for us to see,

The inscription on the headstone

Written simply R.I.P.


The Angel's soul is beautiful,

Though her hands are clawed and curled,

And at night she is invincible,

Asleep from the world.

Asleep from the World by Rachael Brook
Asleep from the World by Rachael Brook | Source
Source

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Comments 74 comments

ocfireflies profile image

ocfireflies 2 years ago from North Carolina

OMG! Not sure what to say...This presentation rocks! Awesome! I keep hearing songs. Your poems have this rhythm to them that is a wonderful signature. Peace to you and yours from my part of the world. HP/FB +

Kim


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for being the first to read this hub Kim and for your kind and generous comment. Your sharing this is much appreciated. Take care.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 2 years ago from The Beautiful South

Kim is right John; much of your poetry has a musical flow to it that makes it so easy to read and my favorite type to read btw. Very beautiful. ^+


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for you kind words and continued encouragement Jackie. Vote ups are always welcome too... :)


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Jodah, I am awestruck by this poem. I am very sentimental today and the beautiful words of yours have touched me deeply. I did not know about what happened to your wife -- I sense you are a dear and very loving husband to Kathy. Blessings to you both and to Rachel.

Thank you for adding such beauty to life with your poetry and for being who you are.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I don't know what to say Phyllis, apart from what a beautiful thing to say. I am glad this poem touched you, and I thank you for your kind blessings.


Phyllis Doyle profile image

Phyllis Doyle 2 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

Big hug.


Harishprasad profile image

Harishprasad 2 years ago from India

A fitting tribute to a great talented artist. Your words are so fantastic and beautiful ! John, I loved the paintings of Rachel and this very sweet poem. Voted up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you as always for your kind comment Harishprasad. Yes Rachael is very talented. Glad you enjoyed reading this hub. Thank you for the vote up too.


Faith Reaper profile image

Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

Oh, my goodness, dear Jodah! This brought tears as your words are beyond beautiful that I cannot even express what I am feeling after reading such a masterpiece. It is the truly one of the most beautiful poems and hubs I have read here on HP! I mean that with all of my heart.

You and your lovely wife, Kathy, are truly special people in this world. Thank you for sharing Rachael's lovely paintings.

I do not know why I arrived to your poem so late, but I think it is because of how special it is and it is a perfect one to read at the end of a long day and week. I am going to remember this hub when I vote on the Hubbie Awards this year for most beautiful hub so far!

Your writing here filled my heart to the overflow.

Up and more ++++(except funny) pinning, tweeting and sharing

God bless you, Kathy and your beautiful family,

Faith Reaper


FlourishAnyway profile image

FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

John, this is spectacular. You convey her dignity, grace, and yearning so eloquently. Voted up and more. Sharing.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Faith Reaper, on behalf of my wife and Rachael, I thank you for your touching and kind words. Rachael is a very talented artist and her work has progressed a long way since she painted "Asleep from the World". Kathy and I are going to an exhibition of her art on 24th and 25th of May.

I am touched that this poem brought you to the verge of tears, and I thank you for considering it good enough for the Hubbie Awards, your vote up and share.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Flourish,

Rachael is a wonderful artist with a great attitude. I greatly appreciate your kind comment, vote up and share.


Frank Atanacio profile image

Frank Atanacio 2 years ago from Shelton

I agree with flourish Jodah, you convey perfection as well Loved it...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you loved this Frank, thanks again buddy.


DDE profile image

DDE 2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

Beautiful photos Jodah and you just know how to cause a stare your wife has great talent as you do have in your line of pleasure.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you DDE, much appreciated.


Ghaelach 2 years ago

Morning John.

When I see your name pop up on my screne I know that there's something interesting to read. You never seem to disappoint. You know my thoughts on poetry, but I must say I have to agree with the other comments.

Great hub, take care and have a good weekend.

Ghaelach


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

I appreciate each and every comment I receive Ghaelach, but any positive response I get from those who aren't real fans of poetry are extra special. Thank you for you support in reading my hubs. You have a good weekend too.


whonunuwho profile image

whonunuwho 2 years ago from United States

I enjoyed this immensely. whonu


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading whonu. Much appreciated.


wayne barrett profile image

wayne barrett 2 years ago from Clearwater Florida

Very nice work Jodah. Beautifully captured emotions. You never fail to impress me.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wayne, if my writing impresses, inspires or makes you laugh, I am happy. thanks for your comment.


always exploring profile image

always exploring 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

This is soooo beautiful. Your poetry touched me deeply. I could picture Rachael sleeping and at peace. Thank you...


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Glad you enjoyed Ruby, and could imagine that. Thanks for the kind comment.


jhamann profile image

jhamann 2 years ago from Reno NV

My favorite of your poems so far. Thank you for this. Have a good weekend. Jamie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

thanks Jamie, that's great to hear. I must be getting better :)


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 2 years ago

Jodah

This is a great one, and will touch many. My career was working with people with disabilities, my book is about Chronic illness and faith. This poem captures the slumber rest, where one is away from the world in a respite of sorts. A place where one reclaims the joyful spirit to engage in another day. There is so much artistry, that is left, untapped in the hearts and minds of those trapped in their own casings. Imagine the beauty of Heaven when all that is released. Blessings and sharing :)


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Stages of Me. The slumber rest, that's it. yes it will be beautiful in Heaven when all these people who have been afflicted on Earth are released from their burdens. Blessings, and thanks for the share.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

That was really lovely and inspirational, John. Well done and a big round of applause for that young woman.


bravewarrior profile image

bravewarrior 2 years ago from Central Florida

Beautiful interpretation, Jodah. You have a very kind soul; always imagining how others feel. You are an angel!


The Examiner-1 profile image

The Examiner-1 2 years ago

What a shame that she feels this way. It is sad but beautiful too. You have put good effort into it Jodah.

Kevin


vocalcoach profile image

vocalcoach 2 years ago from Nashville Tn.

I love both your introduction and your awe-inspiring poem Jodah. The photos further add to the inspiration that flows through your poetry.

As I read the ending verse - I experienced goosebumps. "The Angel's soul is beautiful,

Though her hands are clawed and curled,

And at night she is invincible,

Asleep from the world."

Thank you and bless you my friend - Audrey


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Bill, yes Rachael is very inspirational, thanks for reading and your kind comment.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Aw thanks Shauna. That's a sweet thing to say. I wish..lol.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks Kevin, I appreciate you taking the time to read my hubs. I must stress, this is my interpretation of the painting. She usually appears very happy with life but what's on the outside doesn't always show what a person really feels.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for such a kind comment Audrey. Sometimes I feel I'd like to hear some of my poetry put to music and sung. I bet you could make them sound good. I am glad you liked the last line, it's often the one people remember most. Bless you too.


mylindaelliott profile image

mylindaelliott 2 years ago from Louisiana

The painting and the poetry a both pretty powerful. Thanks for sharing them.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

My pleasure mylindaelliott, thank you for reading this and commenting.


BlossomSB profile image

BlossomSB 2 years ago from Victoria, Australia

A truly awesome hub. I once taught communication in a school for physically handicapped children - and often went home in tears to my husband, thankful that I had been able to help, even a little bit. It's certainly a locked-away life for those kids.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

You have written a beautiful poem and created a very inspirational hub, Jodah. Thank you for sharing the lovely art, too. I'm sorry about your wife's health problems.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Blossom for your generous comment. Once you have worked with or been in close contact with mentally or physically challenged people you get a whole new view of the world and what's important in life. you can be proud that you did your bit to help.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and your kind words Alicia. I am glad you found this story inspiring. I am glad I wrote this hub.


Vellur profile image

Vellur 2 years ago from Dubai

Beautifully expressed, great poem.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Vellur. I appreciate your kind comment.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 2 years ago

Hello Sir John from Colin who is grateful for your support and friendship and I absolutely love the 'love' in your fabulous hub presentation - from your lovely wife Kathy to the most awesome Rachel who is the inspiration behind your noble and pure words - you have a beautiful poetic heart my friend and it shows in every word you write and comment that you make - cheers from the Epi-man at 1:03am Canada time while listening to Mimi and Richard Farina and a few brown pops


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Gooddaymate, from Australia. Thank you for your generous comment Colin. I appreciate your kind words and support. It was 4.03pm here and overcast at the time you wrote your comment. As I write I am listening to an audio book "On-Off" by Colleen McCullough. Hope you have a great week.


AudreyHowitt profile image

AudreyHowitt 2 years ago from California

Beautiful, beautiful read John!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you Audrey. I am so pleased this hub appealed to you.


Bk42author profile image

Bk42author 2 years ago from New York

So beautiful. Very touching.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thanks for reading Bk42author, and for your kind comment.


ubanichijioke profile image

ubanichijioke 2 years ago from Lagos

Sad though but a beautiful rendition. We live for the ones we love and here you have expressed how unique life is observed from your angle. Despair is not our portion for we have found solace in your words. the introductory part made so much sense! great write!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for your kind inciteful comment Thandi.


Michael-Milec profile image

Michael-Milec 2 years ago

Hi Jodah.

Both, a Background and a poem acts as a generous lesson of your willingness to share the life's " other side." Otherwise not knowing to me how wonderfully raises ' beauty out of ashes' where the hand of Divine sustaines.

Awesome and beautiful.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much for your kind and insightful comment Michael.


bluebird profile image

bluebird 2 years ago

This is precious, so beautiful and touching.

I appreciate the way you brought it all together for us to feel the poem so intensely! Wonderful!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 2 years ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you for reading and your kind comment bluebird. I appreciate you taking the time.


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 21 months ago

I am glad I found this article. The painting is beautiful and after reading the story behind it, I am awed. The poem connects everything for the reader. I do hope your wife is doing better. Blessings and prayers for you and your family.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much for your kind comment and wishe Dianna. My wife's condition is degenerative unfortunately, but she does have good and bad days. Bowen therapy helps somewhat. At least she is still walking, she was originally given 10 years before shed need a wheelchair, she has exceeded that by 15 so far. Thanks for the blessings and prayers also.


dghbrh profile image

dghbrh 21 months ago from ...... a place beyond now and beyond here !!!

Painting is wonderful as well your poetry. I do also hope that your wife is fine. My prayers are there for you and your family. The poem truly depicts the feel of the painting. Thanks for the share. Votes up and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much dghbrh, I appreciate your generous comment, well wishes., vote up and share.


mary615 profile image

mary615 21 months ago from Florida

This is a very sad, but beautiful article in so many ways. Your poetry is amazing, and I voted it that way.

My thoughts are with you and your wife.

Voted UP, awesome, and shared.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Thank you so much Mary, you are too kind. Glad you enjoyed my poem and the hub in general. I can't ask for more than an "awesome" vote.


tobusiness profile image

tobusiness 21 months ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

John, this brought tears to the eyes, you were blessed with a beautiful big heart with the ability to touch others. Quite a talent my friend.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Aw Jo, what a nice thing to say. Thank you, I'm blushing.


ladyguitarpicker profile image

ladyguitarpicker 21 months ago from 3460NW 50 St Bell, Fl32619

The poem was great and the music fit wonderful. Stella


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 21 months ago from Michigan

Beauty comes from within and is often disguised by a broken body or uncomely face. This poem captures the person hidden beneath what is seen.

What a tender exchange - a quilt for a painting both expressions of a gift given by God.

Makes me sad to know that Kathy's gift, expression and beauty inside was shut down by a back injury. I hope her beautiful spirit will fight to find a way to speak once again.

My own mind goes on alert .. soft touch chiro., supplements and memory foam bed for fibromyalgia .. I hope she has advocates to do all they can to ease the pain and find a way for Kathy to be Kathy once more.

Bittersweet poem written exquisitely. Thanks Jodah and God Bless Always!

Mekenzie


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Hello Stella, thank you for reading this hub. It means a lot to me. So glad you found the poem and the music appealing.


Mekenzie profile image

Mekenzie 21 months ago from Michigan

Jodah, I apologize for mixing up the names. Rachel is the painter and your wife Kathy the quilter. I tried to go back and correct but alas, my correcting time was up.


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

I appreciate that kind and touching comment MeKenzie. You are so right that "beauty comes from within" and both Rachael and Kathy have that inner beauty. Kathy gets depressed that she cannot do many of the things she could before or realise dreams like going hiking and travelling etc but she channels her energies in other ways and many types of crafts like spinning and weaving, dyeing and knitting garments, teaching craft etc. she has a cpap machine and comfortable bed and has regular Bowen therapy massage. Thank you again for reading and no need to apologise for the mix up.


LongTimeMother profile image

LongTimeMother 21 months ago from Australia

I have met Rachael and been to her studio! It was quite a few years ago, but how lovely to see your poem about her. She was a younger woman then but I see from your photo that she still has the same brilliant smile - and outrageous hairstyle!

At the time I met her she was working alongside a group of extremely talented women. One made bronze sculptures, another specialized in stained glass windows, and the third was making life-size replicas of circus animals (including an elephant) to be used as costumes in street theatre in their town.

Rachael was an active part of the art community there and I was in awe of her talent. How lucky you are to own one of her works!!


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow LTM, what a small world it is. Yes Rachael is still an important part of the art community. We wanted to go to an exhibition that she was part of in September but unfortunately we couldn't make it. She is still very unique. Thank for your comment.


Eric Flynn profile image

Eric Flynn 21 months ago from Providence, Rhode Island

This is my favorite poem of yours. I absolutely love the background story too, but the sentiment expressed here is 100% beautiful. Also, if I ever run into a bunch of money I'm going to try to buy this painting, it's wonderful and extremely inspiring; and clearly it has inspired you, as I can see it through your writing here. Great work.

EWF


Jodah profile image

Jodah 21 months ago from Queensland Australia Author

Wow Eric, I appreciate those comments and they mean a lot coming from you. This was a very personal and important poem too me, but I didn't expect it to touch anyone else the same way. Glad you love the painting as it was a great inspiration. Thanks again.

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    John Hansen (Jodah)685 Followers
    267 Articles

    John has been writing poetry since his school days. He was awarded "Poet of the Year 2014" Hubby Awards and has had two poems become songs.



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