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Poem: "A Dream of Sleep" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
Poem: "A Dream of Sleep"

This is the freebie for the June 4, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from my_partner_doug.  In my main science fiction universe, there's a colony called Morpheus with a rather odd founding premise, and he wanted to know what inspired people to establish that.

A Dream of Sleep

If you trace the roots back,
all the way back,
they lead to the Conservancy
as so many things do.

It was a time when Earth flourished
with classical ideas and Calvinist work ethic
and a great inward turn of contemplation --
a time when those whose vision and passion
pointed them to the stars, actually took off,
and those who did not fit in, sought places of their own.

Soteria is a mining colony
built on the principle of hard work,
and it is that, a hard life but pretty good pay.
The problem is that there is never enough time
to do all that the bosses demand to be done,
and so the off-duty hours are whittled away,
a snick here, a sliver there,
until there is nothing left
but work and rest

and then just work.

The mines worm their way deeper into the silent stone,
and the miners perforce must follow the great drills,
going in and in toward the hidden core.
Sometimes accidents happen.

The weary workers stumble half-asleep
through their waking days and dreamless nights,
never wholly alert nor fully rested.
Their eyes are gritty with dust and wakefulness,
their minds blurred by the endless weight of hours.

There are supposed to be rules
against this sort of thing,
but well, they're only guidelines,
not written into anyone's constitution.
Agreements can be changed,
opinions shift over time,
and nobody wants to be thought of
as lazy.

What they dream of,
as they stagger to and from their pallets
of shallow restless sleep,
is a place where they could get
enough downtime to do them some good.

This is what the miners imagine,
a shining mirage that hangs before their eyes
like the half-asleep hallucinations
that have replaced real dreams --
they visualize a colony whose constitution begins,
All people have a right to as much sleep as they need.

It is only a dream.

But it will not stay that way.

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3 comments or Leave a comment
From: technoshaman Date: June 4th, 2013 07:20 pm (UTC) (Link)
*grins* endings.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 5th, 2013 05:51 am (UTC) (Link)


I'm glad you liked this.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: June 6th, 2013 06:02 am (UTC) (Link)


I would enjoy the sleep aspect of Morpheus myself.
3 comments or Leave a comment