April 5th, 2021. SLEEP

– – –

“Dreaming” by Seán Delaney

– – –

– – –

"Sleeping Together" by S.J. Saighead
Two bodies in a single bed,
our sweat streaming up your 
little window, cracked just 
enough to let the summer breeze
run down my back. Tangled
in limbs and sheets, you slept
while I watched the shadows creep
across the ceiling and away
				for another day.

– – –

“Sweet Dreams” by Vian Borchert

– – –

"Tribunal" by M.A.A.
Mischaracterizations? indeed, not how it went - files reveal
all seemed so inanimate, though more talkative than any man
all seemed so intimate, but witnessed in every land
what can be concluded, then, in this tribunal 	
				for these bastards, they all ran...

Defendants! let's hear it finally,
you, who are
always afoot, forever seek
with lessons that bite
condemned to a life 
of a leech

Thief, I saw you on the shore, 
standing cold next to an empty cargo
and I called your name, but you heard
someone else-
another excuse to flee,
but don’t you see? your face
is melting! no more, is time taking
someone else

Tenant, what a mess you made
from joyful stories of childhood it came
the bitter foundation for an unjust fame
one faltering session
and the rest are all the same
-so the tribal order in young hearts
				drags along its hardened paths

Trapper, chased through the swamps,
the darkening green whistling
across its surroundings  
covering the edges of empathy
and we thought we saw your form
fleeing from our newly made lore, 
but you were merely one of the acts
a haphazard shade, a move made sore

Surreal nights
over ethereal fights
over recollections so precise	
				too exact
for this world of mine 
which sees none of that, 
from dreams to life
and back again
by an impostor guide-
but in an endless night
what does it matter
what is real and
what is not?
“Sleep” by M.A.A.

– – –

"Sleep" by Vian Borchert
In the stillness of the night 
all I hear is sleep
There in the distance the dogs barking 
so bitter sweet
Me, in my bed 

rolling around from left to right
while I hear the snores
and the sighs
of the night
so restfully sleeping till the morning light.
How much I yearn to sleep
I would love to go to sleep!

– – –

“Wake-Up Call” by O.A.K.

                  Somewhere between wakefulness and sleep, Sandra picked up the phone.


                  “Sun’s shining.”

                  “Uhh?” She fell out of bed to rest against it, the sheets dragged along with her, flowing around in a cascade. Through the gap the closed blinds left at their sides, she could see the sky. From this angle it she could only see white overcast, too much of angle to see any rooftops.

                  “It’s cloudy over here.” She mumbled, still not registering who it was.

                  “Cloudy? Really? When I left for work the sun was still shining. It’s shining here.” Her mother. She worked out of town. Leixlip. Was driving over there now, probably.

                  “Well, don’t know what to tell you.” Sandra got up, and stumbled across the piles of laundry out of her room to the kitchen. She tried to one-handedly tie her tangled hair back but was unsuccessful and left it to block her vision.

                  “You better not jinx it, dear.”

                  “Wouldn’t dream of it.” The fridge droned in empty fluorescent light. There was a can of coke on the top shelf that she took. As she turned back almost tripped on the cardboard box for the new cat tree she’d ordered two weeks back that she hadn’t yet assembled or even taken out of the box. Charlie was perched up, napping on the windowsill. He hadn’t stirred. Upon finding her way to the sofa, she pushed aside an assortment of clothes and slouched down, opening the can. She tried to think what she’d been dreaming about, but it didn’t come to her.

                  “This bloody traffic is driving me up the wall.”


                  “The sorts of people they let onto these roads, I swear to Christ.”

                  “You do, do you?”

                  “Sandra, you won’t believe it when I tell you, dear, but someone just cut me off, again.”

                  “I do.” She opened the can with a snap and let the liquid fall onto the desert she had for a tongue. She’d woken up incredibly thirsty just about every morning (midday) this month, without even going drinking once. She wondered if it was a sign, and if the sign meant anything, or if it was just another part of her mid-twenties that no one had warned her about, like constantly feeling tired or inexplicable backpain. Or never losing your innate fear of teenage boys.

                  She hadn’t turned on any of her lamps, the ambient light coming through the blinds was enough. It felt to her an adequate representation of her mood, the dull greyness of it. She felt whatever the more intense version of groggy was.

                  Her dream. It had been on a boat. A cruise. It had at some point smoothly transformed into a trip at the Tayto park, which was six summers ago but also right now. Everything had been assumed contemporary. She had been herself, her own age. She’d had friends there, all her friend groups mixed up, from her childhood friends from Athy to the college friends she hadn’t seen for a year, mixed ages, all between 12 and 23 at the same time. There was some sort of chase. Some sort of dilemma, had been, that was vague enough but still felt threatening. Like just the idea of a threat. Of something that needed getting away from.

                  Something that needed getting away from.

                  “So, dear, how are you? ‘What’s up’, as they say?”

                  “Absolutely nothing. As usual.” Sandra said, sinking further down into the cushions’ embrace, and taking another swig of what felt like the nectar of the gods. It was the only positive feeling going on in her entire body, as the liquid danced on her tongue. She sighed with pleasure. But the thirst didn’t go away, didn’t leave with the liquid down her throat. And she realised she was desperately hungry. What time was it? Did she dare check?

                   “It can’t be nothing.”

                  “Surprise, surprise, mother, it is.”

                  “I hate it when you call me ‘mother’.”

                  “Well you’re not my father, are you.”

                  “Whatever happened to good old ‘mam’”

                  “I don’t know, she disappeared in a storm twenty years ago. It’s a big mystery.”

                  “Don’t be funny with me.” She said, and Sandra could feel her mother’s eyes roll a town over.

                  “Can’t help you raising me this way.”

                  “This part was mostly your father.”

                  “How is he?”

                  “He’s fine. Stressed.”

                  “That’s new.”

                  “We’re all stressed.”


                  “Are you okay?”


                  “Good. I don’t want you thinking I’m not here to chat.”

                  “Oh, mother, I would never think that.” Sandra’s mother chuckled meanly.

                  “God there is a lot of your father in you isn’t there.”

                  “I think the problem arose from there being a lot of my father in you.”


                  “I can pinpoint the start of all my troubles to the moment of my birth.”

                  “I could say the same.” Her mother said with a sigh and Sandra’s cough of a laugh surprised even her. She spat out some coke onto her pyjamas.

                  “Mam! What the hell?” Neither of them could speak for a while from laughing. It seemed the comment had surprised Sandra’s mother just as much.

                  “I’m sorry dear.” She said in an entirely unapologetic tone.

                  “That was harsh.”

                  They were both silent for a while, Sandra noticed she was absently smiling at the conversation. It was rare her mother was funny like this. But the hunger was creeping up on her. She’d have to get some clothes on, and sneak over to the shops to get something to eat. Anything.

                  “Look, mam, I’m sorry for the short call but I have to go. Was just about to eat.”

                  “No worries. Are you coming to Mikey’s birthday Thursday coming?”

                  “I’ll try. I don’t have a gift.”

                  “You don’t need to have a gift. We can put your name down for ours.”

                  “Thanks, ma’. Really.”

                  “You’re welcome dear. What are you going to do today?”

Classically she was continuing the call after it was supposed to end.

                  “Stuff. Bit of work.”

                  “How’s your project coming?” Sandra looked over at the sticker-laden laptop, precariously sitting on the edge of the desk. She’d barely opened it for a month to any actual work. Hadn’t dared to touch those files. It was mostly used to store her Sims saves these days.

                  “It’s coming.”

                  “That’s good to hear.”

                  “I have to go.”

                  “Of course dear.” Her mother waited silently.

                  “Love you.” Sandra said after a moment.

                  “Love you too, dear.”

– – –

Next exhibition theme: HELL

Deadline: Midnight, April 18th

Submit at: artisticdifferencesproject@gmail.com

More information under ‘Submissions’ tab

Published by artisticdifferencescurator

My name is Seán and I am the creator and curator of the Artistic Differences Project. I started this project during the lockdown in Ireland due to COVID-19 in March 2020 as a way to get my friends and I creating during a troubling time. From there the project as gone from strength to strength and now we publish a new exhibition every two weeks.

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