I could say…

I could say this is a Surrealist poem, but I could well be wrong. For dverse.



I could say the sun dripped like a sea anemone among the paper

cups of the butcher’s floor amid the sweepings of carnations


and the sighs of woodlice. I could say the wind blows through

the night dunes, rolling its r’s in true Roman fashion, dropping


packages of white powder on the beach, while I listen to the click

clack of the beadmen as they trip the light fandango on the prom.


And I could say this sun is setting, balanced for a moment upon

the treetops, gathering up the gold and turquoise for other climes.


I could say the blue is fading, a thinning veil between us and the

stars, and soon we will see the universe if only we raise our heads,


if only the street lights would dim,

if only we were not the way we are.


Some things I understand,

others not.

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.

31 thoughts on “I could say…”

    1. Thanks Linda 🙂 It’s tongue in cheek except for the last section. I hate poetry that doesn’t mean anything or that you have to pick the bones out of. Surrealism is a bit like that. I much prefer straight imagist.

  1. I have the same trouble with writing surrealist poetry, Jane. Surreal or not, this is an expansive poem, especially the final “I could say…” to the end!

    1. As I said, the first part is my idea of surreal, also my idea of nonsense, and what I (really) would say is in the second part of the poem, using imagery that corresponds to something tangible.

    1. There must be a thought behind it otherwise it’s what I produced, just the kind of stream of consciousness images that don’t mean anything. Maybe I’m looking at it the wrong way, and the idea is for it to mean nothing.

      1. No you’re right, someone has to manipulate the images or words. Which you did even if you think you didn’t. Life is often absurd but just throwing things together without thought doesn’t convey that.

      2. Puts me in mind of some ‘poetry’ I’ve read that seems to be a copy & paste from a medical dictionary. Lots of people think it’s brilliant exactly because it doesn’t mean anything, just lots of words they don’t understand strung together in lines that aren’t phrases. Takes all sorts I suppose.

  2. You certainly captured the essence of the prompt, penning surreal indeed. There seems to be some leeway among responses, some into the macabre, fantastical flarf Lewis Carroll non-sequeters–and I am enjoying all of them.

    1. I think there’s some confusion about what surrealism is. Baudelaire and Rimbaud weren’t surrealists nor was Lewis Carroll. They just used words in a different way to their contemporaries. The true surrealists aren’t my thing to be honest.

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