Cave of Dreams

The machine started at Aanteekwa
with blue light eyes, lit buttons
that blinked, screens that
barked at her capital letters in
an unknown script. It hummed,
said nothing.

She looked for Virgil,
poet-robed, large and
looming, hoping that Dante
would lend this psychopomp,
a hand, a clue. But, there were
no lead pipes in the library. No
Miss Scarlet, blood-handed,
glitter-grinned. Its machine breath
stirred in the dark, but it
said nothing.

Aanteekwa shivered in
the dark, clutched tight
the apple in her chest
left over from Sunday sermons
and ancient serpent-slung trees
growing in her double-helix groves.
Demiurge, or god? She couldn’t tell.
But it said nothing.

It flared blue-white light
onto the walls, then spat
shapes and colors of dust-dreamed
cave men chasing deer with spears.
Dawn’s eye, opened to the birth
of man. Aanteekwa tried to speak,
but her words were crushed to sleep.
And she said nothing.

Finally, the machine said something.
What have you become, it asked,
my sweetest friend?
I am not your friend, Aanteekwa spat.
Oh, but you are, it replied. I have been
following you since you entered
this dismal realm. I have replicated
your cave of dreams on these walls.
Consider the art carefully, and
tell me this: why are these dreams –
and the human race – worth saving?
Answer me truly, if you can.

Written 5/25/14
© 2014 Nicole Nicholson. All rights reserved.


This was written to the Red Wolf Wordle #18 prompt and picks up from the last poem in this series, “Tunnel Vision“. Lines 2 and 3 of the last stanza were borrowed from part of the lyrics of Nine Inch Nails’ song, “Hurt”.

Words used: eye, stirred, dark, tight, apple, trees, dawn, words, crushed, sleep.


About ravenswingpoetry

I am a 38 year old writer from Columbus, OH and the creator of Raven's Wing Poetry. I am a poet, seeker, fellow traveler, and autistic.
This entry was posted in Poems, Red Wolf Poems, Wordle and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Cave of Dreams

  1. Misky says:

    Now that’s a cliff-hanger!

  2. stimmyabby says:


  3. excelsizeus says:

    I like how you got Miss Scarlet in.

  4. Pingback: If/Then/Else | Raven's Wing Poetry

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