Low Battery by Matt Dixon


Hush, little robot, close your sensors,
Slow your subroutines,
Hibernate your processors and trickle-charge your energy,
Disconnect your pairings with the other young machines,
And let the diagnostics defragment your memory.
Dim your lights and underclock,
And softly let your ports undock
To count the decimals of pi,
And I shall sing a cyber-lullaby.

Hush, little robot, and listen to the universe tonight,
It is alive with radio.
Can you hear the whisper of the hydrogen by kilobyte ?,
Or the rushing of the galaxy as round and round we go ?
So dream in noughts and dream in ones,
Beneath a thousand other suns,
And turn your logic into trust –
While I shall keep you safe and free from rust.


detail from Sleeping Girl by an unknown 1600s artist working in Rome


I’ve heard there’s folk who sleep but never dream –
That must seem a waste of a night,
When I think how my mind is a-gleam with delight.
But point of fact, they do alright,
Just shutting down for hours on end
Affording them time to mend,
While not distracted by the random streams
That dreamers love to wend.

Acid Verse

Acid Verse

Lis’ning to psychelic music,
Joss stick sending up a stream,
Lava shadows on the ceiling,
Red wine drifting off to dream.
Don’t need drugs to taste the acid,
Just an over-yellow mind-
It’s gonna be one of those fitful nights
When the gears of my conscious grind.

Too much psychedelia,
It’s not from the drugs, this trance, though –
I swear, just wine, and a lack of coffee,
So why do the colours dance so ?

I guess that I must be dreaming ?
I really hope that I’m dreaming…
Cos if this is really psychotrope
Then I’m trapped inside a kaleidoscope.

I guess there are folks who deal with this ev’ry day –
Does it make me a bad person to say
That I never wanted to end up that way ?
Like this way.  Like slipping down the slope.

Lis’ning to psychelic noodling,
Playing somewhere, distant, bleak –
It’s gonna be one of those endless nights
When the door of perception creak.

Too much recycled dioramaa,
But if not drugs, then what have I taken ?
If only I’d swallowed some bloody caffeine
Cos I need to reawaken.

So why am I still here dreaming ?
Or what am I not here dreaming ?
It’s not any pills from off the shelf,
But maybe my brain has brewed some itself ?

Maybe it’s cloning its own serotonin all day,
Or morphing endorphins to help it to play.
Or doped-up on dopamine, drooling away ?
Who’s to say ?  Is it madness by stealth ?

Lis’ning to psychedelic mumbling,
Needle jumping, stuck on repeat –
It’s gonna be one of those Mobius nights
When Alice can’t find her feet.

Too much psyched-out sepia –
I don’t even own a secret stash,
But these uninvited thoughts wanna dance,
Now this party’s about to crash.

Can I still hope I’m nothing but dreaming ?
I gonna need help if I find I’m not dreaming
Cos I just don’t know how I’m gonna survive
If I’m right here awake and I’m streaming this live.

I don’t want to crash, but I don’t want to stay,
So help me to crash to an overcast day –
Cos there’s so many colours, I can’t find my way –
Help me, pray, when the DTs arrive.

Lis’ning to spaced-out psychic music,
Sometimes my mind is not my friend,
Cos psychedelic may sound angelic,
But it’s based on the blues in the end.


Insomnia by Sarah Park


Until tonight, I always found that beds, any beds would set me free,
Ev’ry nudge and ev’ry sound could not breach my security –
But here I lie awake, so wide awake, so pointlessly unresting
Perhaps I ought to take a break,
Fill up the kettle –
No coffee, though, please !
A morsel maybe to help me settle,
Though lay off the cheese.
I always thought the night was full of creaks and banging pipes and stuff –
This house is eerily quiet when it speaks, not noisy enough !
The night and I both lie stock still,
Like the hush on the hill and the lull in the valley –
And yet, like me it also breathes…
But only one of us is keeping tally of the sleep the other thieves –
Adding up each stolen minute in my deficit of rest,
Ratchetting my stress as I know I’ll never get them back –
How long before I crack ?
Oh, to be falling into dreams,
To softly sink into its streams
To fall upon that netherworld where moonlight always beams.
But meanwhile…
The ticking of the alarm is not a friend,
Nor one I dare to silence –
Or how will I know when this Hell shall end ?
But the ticks just won’t shut up, even under the pillow
And then there’s the birds of dawn in the willow
That I always thought so pretty until this very morn.
And oh, here comes the headache –
So it’s back to the willow, it seems –
Though, hang on, does asp’rin keep you awake ?
Not that I’m exactly full of dreams right now,
Taking them on an empty stomach, too,
But anything to stop the throbbing in my brow.
Swallow them with the dregs of the wine –
Oh, it’ll be fine.
I’ll wash the glass since I’m here, as you do,
And spend a penny, I guess –
But if I’m getting up I might as well dress.
My thoughts spin round in my unsought leisure,
Till I’m sick of my company
And to think that sleep was once my pleasure –
How can it now be stumping me ?
I should be swimming through the deep of my mind,
Down and down, leave it all behind,
I used to find it all so easy,
One-two-three and off we go –
But tonight, there’s nobody home below.

Brain of Thought

Self Reflected by Greg Dunn

Brain of Thought

How do we know
How we know what we know ?,
When we haven’t a clue
How we do what we do ?
And how do we think
When we think in a blink ?
In a faster-than-short,
We have caught us a thought.
They hustle and tout
And they wheedle and shout,
Like rumours and tracts
That have somehow crept out –
Till we realise there’s mountains of facts
That we swear we weren’t taught.

I do not know
How I know what I know,
But I know that they flow
As they come and they go.
Cos there’s stuff I’ve forgot –
Don’t know what, but a lot –
And there’s thoughts that will sow,
Lying low till they grow,
And they scatter and spread
Through my depths of my head
As factoids and fluff
That take root and embed.
Till I realise there’s jungles of stuff
That I happen to know.

The Luxury of Inconsequence

Architect – The Draughting Table by Mike Savad

The Luxury of Inconsequence

I set the world to right, alone at night –
The future’s glistening.
I sit and spout all day – but that’s okay,
Cos no-one’s listening.
I plot within my head, but have no dread –
They’ll surely stay there.
A thousand plans unborn, my greatness shorn
For ev’ry grey hair.
Yet all the while they’re checked, no lives are wrecked
Upon my schemings –
My legacy’s secure, when you ignore
My fervent dreamings.

Dream On

Dream On

Sleeping is our right,
It is our patriotic duty –
And ev’ry dream is freedom,
And our freedom is to dream…
Sleep, my fellow patriots,
For sleeping is our beauty –
And dreaming is our industry
In which our twilights gleam.

The Land of Nod

The Sleepy Congregation by William Hogarth

The Land of Nod

Faith is like sleeping.
What dreams we conceive there
We always believe there,
Where no doubt may creep in.

But be not mistaken
By heavenly seemings
And wishful sweet-dreamings;
It’s time to awaken.

As Genesis 4:16 informs us, Nod is located on the East of Eden.

Sleep of the Blessèd

sleep deep
Sleep, Deep with Dreams by Jo Chester

Sleep of the Blessèd

I don’t know why I’m gifted so,
To sleep as tightly as a tree –
To close my eyes and just let go,
And slip into eternity –
Where aeroplane nor car alarm
Nor deep pneumatic drill
Can rouse me from my safe-from-harm
Before I’ve slept my fill.

I’ve heard it said a guilty soul
Will lie as skittish as a foal,
And never find repose.
Now I, I never was a saint,
And yet I dream without constraint
When sweetly comatose.

I don’t know why I’m fortunate
To sleep as soundly as a stone,
Until my eyelids raise the gate
To marvel how the night has flown.
Oblivion is long my friend
Who waits in Timbuktoo.
I swear, the World and all could end,
And I would sleep on through.

I’ve heard it said that peaceful minds
Have little need for warmth and blinds,
When tiredness prevails.
Now I, I am not pure and deep,
And yet I still could harvest sleep
Upon a bed of nails.

Immortal Remains

brain in jar

Immortal Remains

My mind I leave to science, to probe and to dissect,
To extract and to magnify each secret and regret.
To show up my ideas that I never got to note,
Or poems I was writing but I somehow never wrote,
Or stories for the telling that I never passed along,
Or maybe sweetest music for my never sung-out song.
Work swift with my ditherings, these children may yet make
An epitaph of dreams to be awoken at my wake.