Machine – poem by Martin Wildman


I slept and dreamt of the Amazon,
unhooked a river
and it became an endless souk.
I crafted an apple –
that crisp dead fruit became a tiny wall of glass.
I breathed three stars into a clock
and they shook to tell me my brother was there.
I spoke to an echo
and a woman’s voice cried an electric crackle.
I heard a bluebird tweet
and it carved a troll of ancient granite.
I searched in the dust of God’s library
and found a tome shaped like my face.
I hunted for Jesus amongst the chatter
and a million prophets appeared in the smoke.

At night, when I breathe,
it is with a machine
without which I would die.
I would suffocate in the very air
that feeds the bats and the hyenas
and the crying babies in their mother’s arms.

One day, I asked a changeling
whether I needed to use technology
and he scattered ten thousand flowers on the floor
which spelt out the words
‘Without me, you are nothing.’

Machine by Martin Wildman received a special mention in the Sentinel Literary Quarterly Poetry Competition (November 2017) judged by Abegail Morley.