This morning, for instance, I awoke from a recurring one. Unlike Gregor Samsa I had not been transformed overnight into a gigantic insect, but the Pterodactyl had been round again.
He's a bit different this one. He's a kind of 'Poetry Pterodactyl.' You've heard of Ted Hughes's 'Thought Fox'? Well, this chap runs along similar lines.
|'Hi, I'm Ptery the Poetry Pterodactyl,|
you got a nice pantoum for me today?
He's the Poetry Pterodactyl and he's come for his supper. According to the dream, he lives in a cave down near Hodnet in Shropshire, where the famous Follies are. As soon as we start to read he somehow senses what we're doing and flies north to find us. He homes in on our Muse and swoops down, splintering boughs and scattering brushwood, cawing for his fix. No-one seems particularly perturbed, although we are all in awe, he is rather large and very impressive. We've seen him before, he's a regular visitor and somehow we know he's not going to gobble us all up. One of us then takes some poems and feeds them to the monster, who gulps the A4 pages down greedily, swallows them and flies off with a final swooping and cawing. I don't know whether we all chant or invoke him in some way, the dream doesn't have that much detail, but we do give him some poems to eat and off he goes.
I don't know whether he represents anything, a terrible craving that must be fed, or whether he's a form of wish fulfilment for us poetic dabblers - a rapacious audience that does not exist. Perhaps I just eat too much cheese.
I have wierd dreams. I still have the occasional one where I wander into a room where there are bosses and former colleagues who disappear when I approach them or walk past me as though I'm not there. Those are redundancy dreams and only to be expected. They're getting less frequent as I get busier.
I don't know where all that leaves me with Ptery the Poetry Pterodactyl. Perhaps if I don't feed him, he'll go away?
But I've grown quite found of the chap ...