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‘And when they had taken their refection and sat in weeping and wailings, suddenly, as God would, they slept.’ The Golden Legend — The story of the seven sleepers



Each moment dips into the next
like overlapping silhouettes.
They breathe while they sleep,
and sleep while they breathe.
Hibernating religious refugees
dream of fire-flickering shadows
scattered across the cave's dimpled epidermis.

Buried in forgotten gliraria,
seven steady rhythms rumble;
stone lungs echo with distant voices.
Eyes torn from walls are touched by
shattering light.
A three hundred year breath yawns from
its body-warmed cave.


‘The Dormouse slowly opened his eyes. “I wasn't asleep,” he said in a hoarse, feeble voice: “I heard every word you fellows were saying.”’ Alice's Adventures in Wonderland




John Darley