Still Awake by Connor Allen (Lucent Dreaming Issue 11)

Why am I still awake at 3 in the morning?
I mean I’m not even yawning

Because I’m not tired but my brain is constantly wired
with a thousand and one different thoughts
and I’m sitting in my own head with a fishing rod
waiting for a thought to get caught
so I can reel it up and focus on one.
No matter how hard I try, the thoughts just keep swimming by.

But every so often a thought will catch and on to it, I’ll latch.
Try to focus on what it is so I can try to detach.

I’m scared of dying.

I know that’s a common thought. The thought is quite rational
but it’s not fashionable for a man to be feeling this way, not in these days.
And that’s the conflict of do I let the thought stay or do I let it disappear?
Or do I let others hear what I have to say?

But just like that the thoughts gone away.

And I’m still awake thinking to myself for fuck sake.

But another thought latches on and I reel it up.
I’m scared of becoming like my dad and that thought alone makes me mad.

It’s the one thing growing up I wish I had, and that alone, it makes me sad.
Feeling sad for something I never had
then I feel bad for getting mad
because I’m scared of becoming like my dad.

And it starts over like a vicious cycle.

I’m back fishing inside my own brain,
thought by thought passes by.
I’m overthinking.
I’m just laying in bed, not even blinking.

Thoughts of Chadwick in my head and a quote I read that he once said:
“Purpose is the essential element of you. It is the reason you are on the planet at
this particular time in history. Your very existence is wrapped up in the things you’re
here to fulfil.”
And that quote kills and gets me in my feels
because the burden can be heavy.
The path I’m on can at times be lonely and I can’t always be scarface Tony.

What is my purpose I don’t know.

I guess all I can do is continue to grow,
continue to learn.
Hopefully the burden won’t burn and I can give back to others in return.
But wait … that thought’s gone

And another one latches on.

It’s about where I’ve come from, wanting to give back to my mum
who’s sacrificed everything to make me the man I’ve become.
So I put this pressure on myself
to achieve success and not digress into a complete mess.
At 3 in the morning it’s getting me stressed
and I have to confess that all I want for her is the best.

So I put it on myself to provide that for her before she’s laid to rest,
But that thought’s gone as quick as I’ve worked out where it’s coming from.

See, all my life I’ve been running and running
Never standing still
Wanting to keep busy before the thoughts in my head start to make me ill
Because these thoughts keep on spawning and spawning
And that’s why I’m awake at 3 in the morning.


Connor is the Children’s Laureate of Wales. He has written for BBC Wales, BBC Radio 4, Sherman Theatre, Literature Wales and Dirty Protest.
Connor’s work is heavily inspired by elements of his own life such as grief, love,
masculinity, identity, and ethnicity. Most recently he won Rising Star Wales Award 2021. He is associate artist of his hometown theatre The Riverfront in Newport.
@connor_allen92

Buy issue 11 today.
Lucent Dreaming is an independent creative writing magazine and book publisher for beautiful, imaginative and surreal fiction, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Subscribe to Lucent Dreaming now, support us on Patreon and follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram

Related posts

Issue 9 arrives!

Lucent Dreaming issue 9 has arrived at Lucent HQ and we think it’s our best one yet. Subscribe today from only £20 to purchase your

Read More »
Rana Shabibi in the spotlight Lucent Dreaming interview

Rana Shabibi in the spotlight

I wrote Mutability during the first UK lockdown in 2020, which was a time of great instability and upheaval. It was my way of processing all the disorientation and confusion around me.

Read More »