The Night-time Broadcast

The Night-time Broadcast



Nightwatchman of the tireless airwaves
Friend of insomniacs and shift-workers
Vigilante who prolongs our wakefulness
Comforter of the agitated and uneasy mind

Sometimes their offering is just a long succession
Of mood music to help anaesthetize the brain
They ‘spin’ these play-lists not just back-to-back
But in a seamless flow, often end to end

And thus sedated we may eventually succumb
And fall gently into the outstretched arms of Hypnos
Thus for some broadcasters their purpose is achieved
Perhaps our own choice when locked in to the ‘sleep mode’

And yet there are many who are not seeking sleep
For some the duty of unsocial hours, at desk or driving cab
Welcome the company of the ethereal companion
To educate, to stimulate, to banish boredom

Nowadays – and nights – broadcasting is a 24/7 affair
Swept away the curfew of the midnight chimes of Big Ben
With little pause the stations re-gain their breath
Plunging headlong into nocturnal schedules

So we are offered a diet of news, or sport, or music
And if we so desire our mind can be transported
By travelogues, quizzes, drama or political diatribe
And of course the World Service, where it is always daytime

One feature is the phone-in session – who on earth
Is awake to participate? Well there seems to be
No shortage of inquisitors to assail the agony aunts
And those ever contentious ‘shock jocks’

So it seems that night time broadcasting has
Not been banished to the land of nod. It is wide-awake!
And many rejoice that radio, like its carrier waves
Knows no bounds, brooks no opposition

Except perhaps the charms of sleep itself!

Ken Fisher


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