Sweet Dreams

Sweet Dreams

Come sail with me on chocolate seas,
Beyond the coffee grounds,
Where gummy fish grant every wish,
And sweetness still abounds.

Now close your eyes, a sweet surprise
Awaits you while you sleep:
Fancy tales of licorice whales
Within the ocean deep.

With jellyfish in every dish
Of peanut butter pie,
And just a hint of peppermint
On every mermaid’s sigh.

’Cross seas so cold with marshmallows,
Like icebergs on the waves,
To tropic shores with toasted s’mores
Buried in pirate caves.

Through salty gales with toffee sails
We’ll search for tasty treats.
In far off lands, the muffin man
Will sweep you off your feet.

At stately balls in castle halls
Composed of gingerbread,
Pink bubblegum and sugarplums
Will dance within your head.

Then dawn will break as you awake.
Oh, how your eyes will gleam!
These words were said beside your bed,
Then came true in a dream!

“Sweet Dreams” is the final entry in Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Adventures, a collection of eight short stories about my daughter’s adventures, written for her twenty years ago. This was written after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.  For the longest time, I had wanted to write a bedtime poem for her.  She had just turned nine when I wrote this, but we still recited it together many times before bedtime.

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spud
The Tiny Princess
Blue and Blonde Sprinkles
Jenny Comes Home from School
Smiles in the Pumpkin Patch
The Happiest of Birthdays
The Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Starfish
The New Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Girl
Sweet Dreams


Ken Gierke

The New Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Girl

The New Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Girl

Once upon a time, there was a blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl who spent her days and nights in many ways. She dressed up as a potato. She rode through a pumpkin patch. She went along the ocean shore, talking to a starfish.

Each of these events was a story in itself, and each event was typical for the eight-year-old blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl. And, it is almost certain that there were many more such “typical” events in her life.

But, one day, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl was visited by an event that was not so typical, and it would change her life forever.

For a couple of weeks, she had been feeling sort of tired. It wasn’t like her toes were snoring while she was doing her tap dancing routine – although they did snore when she was sleep walking. It was just that she seemed to have less energy.

Except in the middle of the night. She was having some terrible nightmares, and she woke up several times, screaming and crying. She couldn’t decide if her tummy was hurting her, or if she had just broken her arm on an amusement ride. She just knew that something inside of her did not feel right. Each time, her mom or dad would hold her and soothe her until she fell back to sleep.

And thirsty? Boy, was she ever thirsty! For those last two weeks, she was drinking everything in sight. Every time she walked by the aquarium, the goldfish would hide behind the plants, in case a straw should suddenly appear in their midst.

That was when her mom decided it was time for her to be tested. She took the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl to see her doctor. When the doctor saw the results of the test, he decided that she should go right away to the hospital.

So, off she went with her mother to the hospital. But, first they went home to get jammies, in case she would need to stay overnight.

When they got to the hospital, it was a little scary, in a nice sort of way. All of the doctors and nurses were cheerful, but they gave her shots and put tubes into both of her arms. They attached a clear bag of fluid to one of the tubes. They used the other one to take blood samples for testing. But, she was feeling better, and she had more energy.

The blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl knew that something pretty peculiar was going on when the doctor told her she would be staying for the night. And when her dad came into the hospital from work, she definitely knew that something was up.

In all, she stayed at the hospital for two nights, and her mom slept right in the room with her! How special was that?

When she was in the hospital, she learned why she had been so tired and thirsty. The doctor told her that she had diabetes. That meant that when her body needed energy, it used the food that she had eaten to find glucose, or sugar, just like everyone else. But, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl did not have enough insulin so that her body could use that glucose for energy. That’s why she was so thirsty. Her body was using everything she drank to flush the unused sugar out of her body.

Since her pancreas was no longer making the insulin her body needed, she would need to have a couple of shots of insulin every day. They even showed her family how to give the shots, or injections, at the hospital.

Once the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl went home from the hospital, she had some new routines that were a part of every typical day. She had to prick her finger four times a day. This was so that she could put a drop of blood on her glucometer. That was a little electronic box with a computer chip that could measure the amount of glucose in her blood. And, every time, she would write the numbers into a log. That was a book to keep track of the numbers.

The way she ate her meals was now different, too. Before her hospital stay, she was sort of a grazer. She would not always finish her meals, because she would eat little snacks throughout the day.

Now, breakfast, lunch, and dinner had to be at set times. She also would have to eat a snack between meals and at bedtime. Everything she ate would have to be measured, until she and her family could figure measurements by looking.

That was because they had to keep track of carbs. Many foods are carbohydrates, and carbohydrates include sugar. So, if they knew how many carbs she was eating, and they made sure she was getting the correct amount of insulin from her injections, they could make sure that she continued to be a healthy blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl. (That is, until she grew up to be a healthy blonde-haired, blue-eyed young woman.) It wouldn’t be long before all of this became second nature.

She also would know when to watch for low blood sugar. This would happen when she was active, and her body used more sugar than was usual. It almost seemed odd to eat or drink something to raise her glucose level, when high blood sugar levels usually were her problem. But that was all a part of having diabetes.

So, the blonde-haired, blue-eyed little girl’s life was changed forever. Finger pricks throughout the day. Injections before lunch and dinner. Careful meal planning. Diabetes was something that she would have to adjust to, but she knew that it would not get in the way of her typical activities.

Like wandering through a cornfield looking for a lighthouse!

“The New Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Girl” is the last of the eight short stories in Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Adventures, a collection of stories about my daughter’s adventures, written for her twenty years ago. This was written after she was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, which occurred two month before her ninth birthday.  The book finishes with a poem, “Sweet Dreams.”

Twinkle, Twinkle Little Spud
The Tiny Princess
Blue and Blonde Sprinkles
Jenny Comes Home from School
Smiles in the Pumpkin Patch
The Happiest of Birthdays
The Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Starfish
The New Blonde-haired, Blue-eyed Girl
Sweet Dreams


Ken Gierke



When you say sorry I hear
only sorrow, the weariness
in your voice, words
of concession. Given
our situation, it’s understandable.
Apologies seem the norm.
Yours, mine. And what do we have?
If we are sorry for anything,
it should be for not
realizing this sooner.

A change in my poetry writing came about when I opened my WordPress account and participated in my first NaPoWriMo in 2014. It introduced me to forms I simply had ignored in the past (some of which I still do!), and others in which I had only dabbled (haiku, specifically, comes to mind).

For a long time, I limited my poetry reading to published work. I wanted my writing to be my own words, without the influence of others. I finally woke to the fact that I could expand my thought process, even find inspiration in a poem I was reading, simply by seeing one word or recognizing a style in which I felt comfortable writing, and still make it my own. At the same time, I was introduced to some wonderful writers.

Sometimes, the inspiration will even come from something outside of poetry. Today, I saw a Tale Weaver prompt for “sorry” at Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie. I may not be up for a short story, but I knew I could write a poem on that theme, so I did.

Now, it’s not always easy writing something when I’m in a totally different frame of mind. In another life, I’ve written poems similar to this when my head actually was in that place. Still, ideas such as this give me an opportunity to exercise my thoughts, yet calmly walk away from the words, once they’re written. This is one of those.

Ken G.

Shared on Open Link Night at dVerse