top of page
  • Writer's pictureEric Johnson

The Sleeper Must Awaken (Poem)

Updated: Oct 1, 2021

This poem was inspired in part from my love of Frank Herbert's epic Dune and part from feeling a little fed up with both the political climate in 21st century America and perceived injustices in my own life. Originally this was going to be part of my collection The Conditions We Live but was cut in the later drafts because the tone of the poem didn't seem to meld with the rest of the collection. (2 minute read)

“Without change something sleeps inside us,

and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.”

― Frank Herbert, Dune

Wake up! The world around you seethes,

you see social injustice, but not just this,

political upheaval, economic despair.

Repair the bedrock that crumbles under your feet —

and yet you sleep.

I can see our economy once strong

now growing weak, so seek a solution

restitution from the pollution of little minds

behind the problems that we grapple with

tackle it in the press, useless unless

we refuse to accept the precepts given us.

If we discuss, think, analyze, and create

we won’t need to wait until the next time

some talking head obfuscates what’s said.

Imitate our founding fathers,

debate, don’t sit sedate until you realize

it’s too damn late.


Support what’s real

what you feel, stick to your ideals

‘cause if you don’t meditate on what’s at stake

get irate, rage and riot

focus your disquiet,

your quiet acquiescence

is acceptance.

To stay asleep

be discrete

accept defeat.

Don’t rage against the range

of injustices unless you want change.

Without change something sleeps inside us

so why discuss, why render a solution

to just engender retaliation?

Invite consternation ‘cause you buck the status quo.

Just sit back, let it go

Fuck that though.

Say no, refuse to be cajoled.

Reject the mistaken narrative

that those in control are imperative

so the rest of us sheep can sleep

and seldom awaken.

Wake up!

Make up your mind and refuse to resign

to the false facts that spew

through the speaker.

Don’t let the future be forsaken.

The sleeper must awaken.

28 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page