I woke. My people turned to trees.
Then wondered, if I had the chance
Could I, too, with the cold winds learn
It is the grove that gives us life.
The sun, the soil that we share,
The tears of those who watch o’erhead,
their left-by mulch, subconsciously aware —
I sleep; my people growing tall.
Now am I just too fast to feel
The slower dance that’s only dreamed,
but far more
My friend, the gypsy, shared a dream
Of how she’d found a carnival,
A type of old tradition where
The best of their technology
Was brought to bear to try to make
A wonderland of lights and sorcery.
Where lovers could walk hand-in-hand
And feel excitement from the crowd,
As she did; with some unknown he
Whose face was handsome, though unseen.
But still the glow of love was there,
Among the scents of summer on the pier.
But love, she said, is not her way:
At least, the way that many think
That love should be: just one for good –
A night, a day, a month, a year,
That’s fine, but even in a dream,
She knew the carnival must have
An end – a letting go – a final turn.
She stared away, in shadows, then
She said, “I’m built for wandering.
The hands I hold are many, as
I make my way across this life.
I’m sure that dream was just my truth
As written on my neurons in the night.”
I watched her kiss the sunset, and
The gleaming colors in her eyes
As she arose to meet the night,
And leave me in a cafe seat
To ponder what a gypsy thing
That lives and hearts are in the very end,
That lives and hearts are in the very end.
I used to dream I’d gone back to
The mental institution
I lived in for six months when I
Was in my darkest days
The halls, I still remember, but
The rooms fade into memory;
As I would shuffle up and down
Its limited pathways
Me being me, I spent my time
Falling in love with nurses,
And counselors and social workers
Who all tried their best
To help me get someplace where I
Would want to go on living;
Instead of where I’d been, which was
The middle of depressed
I’m grateful to those people, though
I doubt they much remember
Some patient who would play piano
Hours of the day
And yet, I’ve never thought
That there’s no way I could go back there:
I am the same guy underneath
Constructed the same way
And so I don’t look back within
Some privileged position:
The many things that make us fragile –
These are always here
But I view with compassion
All the many who are struggling
To push away the emptiness
They can’t make disappear
And ask, if you are one of those,
Remember, just remember,
That every loving thing is born
She wants to feel the summertime again,
To know the touch of hopefulness and joy;
She wants someone to love the girl she was
And is, within the shadows of her room
along the lake, hair glimmering and wet,
a bright new swimsuit, laughing friends in tow,
with music from a boombox on the shore
and dancing on boy’s shoulders into night
the towel-drying, and the backward glance,
the brothers from across the lake who wave
as they go down the road towards their house
and one of whom she thinks she kind of likes —
She turns to see what time it is again.
It’s barely two o’clock, and she’s awake,
And full of something like what was a dream
That just slipped through her mind, like sudden breeze
But wait, was there, like, sunlight on a lake?
And something smelled like coconut, she thinks;
She hears Pandora play a Frampton song,
And drifts back into something close to sleep
She wants to feel the summertime again.
She wants to be alive, and full, and free —
But there, within the shadows of her room,
She knows: even the old pictures
Last night, I had a vivid dream.
I was a place I’ve never been.
But honor lived there yet, intact,
And still within the reach of men,
And women, too, who were alike,
Though diff’rent looking; young and old,
In seeking truth and fairness, through
The stabbing pain of constant cold.
A place of right for those who had been wronged:
A me, not really sure that I
I dream in silence, dream of running children,
Of you, the way you were so long ago;
So long ago, some untoward December,
The cold before the falling of the snow.
You’re going faster, up and towards the mound —
The film is running, running without sound
There is no taste or scent, there’s only vision;
The colors are bedimmed, to black-and-white,
You turn, excited, asking me to chase you,
And in my dream, I’m ready for the flight —
For though the scene is silent, I’m assured
By how you looked, of what had been your word.
With travels great, word-billions said,
Somehow, there lives within my head,
A vision, like a silent show:
A place I was a hundred lives ago —
I dream in silence, dream of us as children,
Of you and I out running in the fields,
Out in the fields of untoward December,
Before our hearts constructed all these shields —
For though the world grows old and taut with violence,
I still remember you within
Photo credit : ID 72579129 Vadim Zakharishchev | Dreamstime.com
She lays her head to rest, because she must.
In visions, winter carries her away:
To icy ballrooms, floors of sparkle-dust,
And lovers dancing. Hair in disarray,
She spins across a crystal wonderland,
A prince whose shining face she can’t quite see —
Her tired head laid still across her hand,
And aching dreams her life at apogee.