Anthony Burge

(16/06/1962 / Australia)

Busy Sleeping


Through rapid eye in slowest motion

With limbs of lead, wade treacle-ocean.

Feet at anchor dragging chains

I run wet through by acid rains.

Stealthily hunted on the hoof

One step ahead of Sabre tooth.

Look over shoulder at my pursuer

Run rabbit run warm-blooded lure.

Dream weaver snared in sticky web

Breath burns my lungs both flow and ebb.

Ten thousand candles burning bright

A solar flare lights up the night.

Beneath the searchlight beam I dance

To shun the stage for dark my chance.

I summon up spent energy

to breathe

to scream

to fly

to flee

Feel hot breath against my neck

Alive survive my pulse I check.

I gasp for air I claw at sheet

Position changed drift back to sleep.

Busy sleeping, sleeping busy

On common ground I’m falling dizzy.

I run and run to take my place

Out front, the hunt I lead the chase.

Again I flee they’re after me

Take cover behind my family tree.

Genetically linked over time

I'm guilty of horrendous crime.

I know not what it is I've done

But the chase goes on hunted I run

Almost I surface from my sleep

Then sink again conscious is deep

Choose flight or fight a slumbering run

Of sluggish limbs make fists of thumbs.

Climb tangled rope with monkey grip

Awake escape this nasty trip

To want to wake can't be asleep

The chase goes on I can't delete

I leap into the honeyed sea

Where few would choose to follow me

Escape, escape, try to evade

Through treacle thick waist deep I wade

Awakened now unleashed from sleep

from bed of dread to floor I leap

Innocent of any crime is me

Still weighted down anxiety

Escaped confines of dreaming prison

Heartbeat returns to normal rhythm

Guilty conscience busy sleeping

Eyes shut wide night terror reaping

Submitted: Saturday, April 06, 2013
Edited: Thursday, October 10, 2013

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Poet's Notes about The Poem

Penned after a re-occurring dream where I am one step ahead of my pursuers, on the run, being hunted after having committed some heinous crime

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