Don’t go

NaPoWriMo asks for a surreal poem using dream imagery. Sounds like most nights to me.


Wading through treacle

or quicksand

is the only way to get through this darkness.


a half-seen tree or someone waving

and the dog turns to me and says, run.

Can’t run, doesn’t he know?

This is dreamland and…


among the red dancing peonies of fire are…

I forget

and we’re in a house that is home

that might be home

that I’d like to be home (no dog)

and you say (you?)

I can’t hear, or I forget.

Veils of pale fabric shift and blow in the breeze

a door opens (don’t go out, don’t leave)

a garden spreads where quilts pile in drifts of coloured feathers.

I smell lilac flowers, smell happiness grow. Happiness…

but they’re coming (where are you?)

the unfaced

from the peony flames

they always do in the end

just as you are never here

and the smell is of carrion (lilacs, please, don’t go)

and blood clings to my hands (did I do that?) sticky and indelible

and breath comes short

because it’s hard to run (alone. There was a dog once) in treacle.

The light recedes and I (alone)

feel heat lapping

at my


Screams fade into a distance

that no waking will ever shrink.

Published by

Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

19 thoughts on “Don’t go”

    1. That’s what nightmares do! I have some really gruesome nightmares that I wouldn’t even describe, they’re too horrific, but at the time (asleep) I seem not too distressed by it all.

      1. I think now most often when I remember dreams, I’m aware of dreaming, so I can influence them sometimes. But yes, our subconscious minds are probably all lizard-brained and full of gore.

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