Electric Dreams

On the Question of Nightmares 

William C. Burns, Jr

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 Burns, William C., Jr. (2000 October). "On the Question of Nightmares" Poem. Electric Dreams 7(10). Retrieved December 30, 2001 from Electric Dreams on the World Wide Web: http://www.dreamgate.com/electric-dreams

Do you remember your dreams?
Alien landscapes . . .
alien skylines . . .
Everyone has them
we have scientific evidence
And who can argue with that.

I wonder why we don't remember dreams?
Think about it
In this dangerous world
Crawling with things sporting big teeth
nasty claws
and hungry guts
we close our eyes every night
to dream
And then we throw the dreams away . . .
It seems strangely wasteful,
somehow contrary to the economy
We typically see in nature.

But then consider the bones
Your femur for instance.
Was it lathed for you
and inserted at your time of
No it grew
and it grew into a thing
Of exquisite beauty
in both form and function.
In fact your femur isn't finished yet.
In every moment your bones
are reshaped anew.
This is the result of two processes
two functions
that at first
seem to be in opposition
Not unlike volcanos and
Through out your skeletal system
Tiny osteoblasts are eating away
at your load carrying bones.
You might think that this
would weaken the bone
And it does.
Now the bones are mostly
calcium crystal matrices
That generate piezoelectric signals
wherever the bone tissue is stressed.
Osteoplasts are activated by this signal
And deposit fresh bone tissue
in the stressed area.
This is why astronauts
suffer bone calcium loss in space.
There is no stress on their bones
and no piezoelectric activity
To activate the osteoplasts.
Meanwhile the osteoblasts are
still at work.
It may sound wasteful at first
But how else are you going to get
bones that are strong enough
And yet light enough?

Perhaps something similar
occurs in our mind.
Could pleasant dreams
build up some kind of psychic humor
And nightmares scrape away
the unnecessary parts?
Stranger things
are known . . .

> --

"Klaatu Barada Nicto" - The Day The Earth Stood Still

William C. Burns, Jr.
Millennium Artist