They say a clear conscience ensures
That despite all that mankind endures
By the harsh light of day,
It will all go away
With those eight healing hours of snores.
That’s why I can’t help but feel cheated—
So much that I Facebook and tweet it
In the wee, wee hours,
As one more night sours—
This jet lag has got me defeated.
GMT plus, oh, five and a half
Is my home—at this point, what a laugh;
By my boggy old sinus,
My body’s in minus,
And the difference is making me barf.
Travellers throughout the long ages
Have known what a journey presages:
You sit on a flight
For what looks like one night
But is really three days in two stages.
The result is this vampiric state,
An endless, penumbra-filled wait
For the sun to emerge
And bring on the urge
To rise just to disintegrate.
More non-incidental effects
Of these intercontinental treks:
And some constipation,
And other stuff much more complex.
It depends on one’s cosmology,
But for me, in this vile symphony,
The most terrible fate
I can delineate
Is being doomed to my own company.
I’d gnaw off my right arm to know
Of a good way to get this to go.
They offer you cures,
From sun shades to scores
Of tablets and potions; but show
Me a man who can shake off this feeling
(Of slowly and painfully peeling
The skin from one’s eyes
As one rigidly lies
Peering up at the inky-dark ceiling)
Before his own body’s decided
That the day that his long flight elided
Is made up at last—
And I’ll show you a past
Master of guff who should be derided.
They say uppers like Red Bull or Pepsi
Might help you to keep you in step—see,
But I hate ’em. Each noon
I collapse in a swoon,
In the python hug of narcolepsy
Each day I try staying up later,
And sleep with my phone on vibrator.
3am on the nose
I shoot out of repose,
As if jolted by defibrillator.
They say alternate carbs and proteins,
Baked chicken one meal, then beans;
You can try melatonin
Or a medical phone-in—
But there just are no good enough means.
Hoping to outwit time lag
Is like waving a karmic red flag.
As much as I moan,
One day per time zone
Is the rate of circadian drag.
So the fact is, dear reader, it’s crazy
To think you can just take the lazy
Way out of this hole.
My much-wanted goal
Remains distant, and fragile, and hazy.
The only available option
Is to implement the adoption
Of patience and rest
And hope for the best
And meanwhile just brew a decoction.
I must live in this temporal band,
And my body sure could use a hand.
But I’ll just have to lump it,
And get out my trumpet,
And cheer on my pineal gland.
At least it’s not getting much worse,
My modern day jet-setting curse.
But sleep-deprived minds
Make bad moves of all kinds—
Like, who wants to read lousy verse?