The Naked Somnambulist

“What hath night to do with sleep?”
(John Milton, ‘Paradise Lost’)

The world rests in the night. Trees, mountains, fields and faces are released from the prison of shape and the burden of exposure. Each thing creeps back into its own nature within the shelter of the dark. Darkness is the ancient womb. Night-time is womb-time. Our souls come out to play with nightfall. The darkness absolves everything; the struggle for identity and impression fades away.

But for some, night-time is the time for a surreal adventure, it is the moment of surrender to the darkest dreams, it is the hallway to purge the thoughts of a life known long before.

A poem portraying a sleepwalker’s journey through the portals and vaults of his past life:

The blinding darkness,

the gentle wind of the eclipsed night;
the soft ripples on water.

The fading lights –

all muted against the black.

Through endless oblivion
I walk between the shadows,
counting the colours.

Who am I?

A naked somnambulist.

The din of secret whispers
amongst the hideous night crawlers,
provokes an outlandish jargon.

An endless strain –

just to assert they’re alive.


The lonesome walk of night
does limit now the senses.

But what’s left of me?


speaking of


glide through the


of the endless


with the naked somnambulist.


Last night, around 2 am. I just opened the door of my room to empty the trash can outside. And suddenly a phantasmal figure seemed to glide towards me. It felt scary like hell! It took me a while to realize that it was my neighbour from the Manipur valley happily sleepwalking across the dark corridor. The humanly figure took 3 careful steps towards my door, then Thor’s lightning probably struck its senses, and a detour followed shortly in the right direction.

I owe the inspiration for this poem to that brief moment of panic, wonder and amusement. Love thy neighbour! 😛

© Tanumoy Biswas and The Nomadic Soliloquist 2013. All Rights Reserved.

42 comments on “The Naked Somnambulist

  1. loving the figure as well as the thought of your poem.. wonderfully written..
    “…And all my stars in one sky…. All space is my canvas. It falls to me from the stars of the mind.” – Maurice Blanchot

    • That’s a lovely quote, a quote quite apt for the thought I was trying to explore. Kudos to you Kaushani for measuring the depth so well!
      And, thank you for the appreciation. Keep visiting. Cheers! 🙂

  2. A beautifully layered poem! I shall consider throwing my trash at 2am too, but only if my neighbor walks in sleep… You drew inspiration from such a simple incident and turned it into a wonderful poem. Hmm, I should get a “pen” like yours, Tanumoy. Or is it the ink? *smiles*

    • *shy grin*
      *bow of gratitude*
      You know, I have this strange knack of picking out even the most trivial incidents, sit for a while, and think about them. I’ve always done it, ever since I was a bermuda-clad, road-runner kid.
      And funnily that has stayed with me, even now… found the late night scare so comically insightful that couldn’t resist my nomadic thoughts from flowing (or maybe, overflowing in this case). 😀
      Well, ‘ink’ or ‘pen’, I leave that for you to decide… but some ‘trash’ was involved for sure. 😛

  3. It’s amazing where inspiration can come from…really good writing! I like how you seem to open some of your posts with quotes from famous writers. Many of my poems start from a line of a poem from a famous poet. Keep writing and sharing!

    • Greetings! Welcome to my den. 🙂
      Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation. Well, we all inspire each other, just like you inspired me now. And yes, you have a lovely way of presenting your verses, really liked it and looking forward to more such pieces of your musing.

      Keep visiting. It’s a pleasure to connect with you. 🙂
      Best wishes

  4. I love this. From time to time, I write short stories (or should I say rewrite my adventures) and always, it becomes magical. I believe (no, I know) the real wonder that is life can be found in seeing the magic in everything ~ looking at everything long enough that we fall in love with it. This is just such magic, Tanumoy. ~ Much love, Bobbie

  5. your Art
    your gift of Alchemy
    to create a magical journey into the night…

    this is so great…
    so much of a writing from that 2am(ish) walk
    the world is full of silent magic that the wind and creatures of the night whisper…

    Take Care…

    • Wow! That was beautifully done!
      Really glad you liked this meek attempt to capture another soliloquy of mine. Treat for my soul. Keep visiting. 🙂

      Best wishes

  6. Hii my friend. Your posts always make me feel like going for a degree in English Lang. 🙂 Please accept my nomination for the SWEET BLOGGING AWARD… Congratulations! 🙂 Please visit for the details.

      • Aaji is muskaan pe tho marte hai hazaro …. zara sambhal kaar kahi toofan na aah jaaye kuch dhadakte dilo mein jo kho gaaye hai aap ki pyaari muskaan mein

        • Masha’Allah… Subhan’Allah…

          Gaa sakun aapka nagma wo saaaz kahaan se laun,
          Sunaa sakun kuch aapko wo andaaz kahaan se laun,
          Yun to chandni ki tarif karna asaan hai,
          Kar sakun aapki tarif wo alfaaz kahaan se laun… *bow*

        • Hai hai hai mein maar jawaaa ….. kuch khyal tho kijiye is dil ka….. abhi alfazo ko chodo yeh batao ke aapki muskurahat pe kurbaan na ho aisa dil kaha se laou 😉

          Andaaz aapka kya kehna…. chand ki chandini ki taraf tho kar di aapne hum khambhakth yeh suraj se bhi roshan muskurahat ke tez se bach paaye aisa dil kaha se lou aap hi batao 😉

        • Har rishton ke mukaam nahin hote,
          Dil ke rishton ke koi naam nahin hote,
          Paaya hai aapko dil ki roshni se,
          Aap jaise dost kisike liye aam nahin hote… 😉

          (Waise toh janaab ko shayari karna nahi aata… 😛 )

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