(a song for music)
I won’t be getting up at seven
I won’t be on the bus at eight
I may not get up till the weekend
Everybody’s gonna have to to wait
I don’t care if the coffee’s brewing
I don’t care that eggs are in the pan
I’m snug and warm and I ain’t moving
Is that so hard to understand?
I won’t get up today
That’s all I’ve got to say
It’s just gonna be that way.
Last night I dreamed myself a city
Where everybody spoke in rhyme
Smelled nice, and everyone was pretty
That’s where I want to spend my time
That’s why I won’t get up today
That’s all I’ve got to say
It’s just gonna be that way
I’ll follow dreaming down, however deep:
A spider keeps me safe and guards my sleep.
At least, should I misfortune meet
I will not lack a winding-sheet.
I dreamt I had a hundred arms
And drifted with the algal swarms
On a concordant sea;
Oh, but the Maelstrom reeled me in
To wake here in the deep again
Fear leaves its mark
That later courage can’t efface; and still they teach as they were taught.
What do they understand about the dark?
The night’s for springing evil, sullen things that lurk.
Perhaps they knew this once, but in the lengthening years, forgot.
(And yet still feel a vague unease: fear leaves its mark.)
Can’t they recall night’s broken silences, how stark
Each alien sound? Recall the endless waiting for the things the night has brought?
Why can’t they understand about the dark?
They will not speak of things that wait or stalk;
They will not name the ones who have been lost
At night, or speak to those upon whom fear has left its mark.
Instead they’ll tell you to be brave; they’ll smirk
And say your fear is only in your thoughts.
Oh no, they do not understand about the dark.
And nothing that they say to do will work:
You cannot face, or fight, or flee. You cannot.
Fear lives outside you, and will leave its mark
On those who understand about the dark.
If something comes
I swear I’ll hear the sound.
But then what? Can I run?
A dream will hunt me down.
Who once feared dying loves the done deed, death:
the body purged of breath,
relieved of the uncertainty of what comes next,
relieved of the need to expect.
Fear dreams, and sleep makes dreaming real.
I do not like to rest. I stay up late.
From the inchoate room sleep builds, where syntax fails,
I know one day I’ll find I cannot wake.
Beast hallucinations claw my face
from inside, seeing now’s their chance:
the gate of sleep begun to swing, the beckoning escape.
Dreaming, dreaming makes them, makes them dance.
O does your living make no sound?
The world is large for you to see.
They fly who never touch the ground.
The dream shall pass: it was a dream.
What are the words I have not learned?
I stand before you clean, too clean.
The world has turned before, and turns;
I am unmoved, but fly in dreams.
Two gates of sleep; the one of horn, the one of ivory.
Odyssey XIX, 560-565
Undermined, toppled, then half washed away
By memory’s undertow,
The gates of sleep are wrack by day;
Dreams true or false to miscellany go.