Dreaming of a dead friend

For dverse

Dreaming of a dead friend

Dark as every day is dark in sleep,
beneath dark trees that cast their shadows deep,
we walked my dog and I.

He walked before with loose long-legged lope,
I behind, the path that climbed a wooded slope,
a tumbling brook ran by.

His coat with shadows striped and moonlight pale
grew fainter, as he moved along the trail,
so fast he seemed to fly.

The winding path, the crouching trees, the light
too dim, I lost him to the swelling night
and woke, a final cry,

the echo of his name still in my ears,
the echo of a dream. I hope he hears
and waits my time to die.




Beneath the hazels in the pool,

where speckled salmon turned about himself,

in the water mirror silvered smooth,

he looked and saw his love

among a flock of swans,

white wings beating,

rising from a moonlit lake,

and in his madness fled

where feathered sleep would never find

him, nor the sun

at morning break, and time and tides

had ceased to run.


Restless night

Last night, for the first two hours after taking a pain killer, I dipped in and out of half-sleep, woken by the same imperative repeated over and over—don’t forget two threads of the story, the two characters in a boat, the other two on the mountain, remember how the threads pull together.

Two hours of this anxiety that I might forget the vital elements of the plot of the story plagued me before I woke completely, the pain too bad to sleep and the anxiety still there.

on the water

a boat with swan’s wings


But what is the story? Not one that I am writing. Who are the two people in the boat? What is their relationship with the two climbing the mountain? I wish I knew. Perhaps it is a story waiting to be written, the voice urging me to remember, the voice of what we call the Muse.

And what if I were to write the two wandering threads?


wreathes the mountain

swan’s wings

I had a dream

A second poem based on the Gontarov painting.


I had a dream I dreamed it through

until the end of sleeping when

I woke to tints of softest grey

and all the glitter fell away

into forgetting like the rain

that made its water music sing.


I had a dream of hearts and flowers

summer days beneath the bowers

of some scented flowers sweet

and princeling came with beating breast

and offered me his princely wealth

if I would be his princely bride.


I had a dream that might have been

a story from another world

where I was cursed with legs and walked

the stony ground on tender feet.

How cool the water feels, the swish

of fishy tail, and princeling, pish!

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.

I have a dream

The Daily Inkling prompt is to imagine a future with a tech device that we think of as impossible. I can’t get my head around technology, so here’s a future without it.


I have a dream (don’t we all?),

they call an impossible dream,

of a future cleansed of obscurantism,

when we will believe in ourselves,

and ourselves alone,

when we shoulder our responsibilities

to the here and now,

and scrape away the putrid sacred vestments

that have befouled our humanity.

Ni dieu, ni maître,

ourselves alone.

The stars wheeling above my head,

the sands of a long white strand beneath my feet,

I take my place in the universe.

I have a dream,

only a dream.

Three Line Tales: Dreamworld

This story is for Sonya’s Three Line Tales photo prompt.

photo by Emily Morter via Unsplash


Through the bars of the window she looked across at the dreary skyline, the turrets and towers of the public buildings shadowing the squalor she knew lay beneath, silent and desperate.

The dream had come back, stronger and more vivid than ever; the soft colours of the strange landscape still clung to her retinas, and she seemed to sense the gentle breeze on her skin and the smell of perfumes, exotic and mysterious.

Dawn broke in a blaze of pink light and, catching her breath in awe at the unheard of sight, she let tears of joy fall unchecked when she recognized, behind the veils of morning cloud, the glorious landscape of her dreams.

Tissue of truths

Another quadrille for the dverse prompt. I’m not sure why so sad. Must be the unsettling times.


One by one our dreams came true,

simple things for simple folk,

of summer skies, children’s smiles,

love’s house made, love’s words spoke,

but now the dreams are fragile worn,

the weaver’s coloured silks run out,

and life’s wild race of time is shorn.

A place for us

I wrote this villanelle a while ago, but I think it fits the Real Toads prompt to write a poem that makes the reader believe in something that isn’t real.


There is a place for us, somewhere

Beyond the veil of misty blue,

Where cherry blossom fills the air.


I see it in my dreams, so fair,

Of every subtle earthly hue,

There is a place for us somewhere.


Should we let go and should we dare

Follow our hearts and start anew,

Where cherry blossom fills the air?


You let go my hand; I cannot bear

That you forget what we both knew—

There is a place for us somewhere.


You walk into midsummer’s glare,

Toss back my heart, my dreams bestrew

Where cherry blossom fills the air.


I hide my tears from your cold stare

And dream of what used to be true—

There was a place for us somewhere

Where cherry blossom fills the air.


Flights of fancy

Last night I had difficulty sleeping for a poem taking shape in my head. This morning I only remembered fragments. I’ve pieced it together as best I can.



Flights of fancy,

lost between the waking and the sleeping,

are fallen between the cracks of oblivion.

A memory, shadow of a truth, remains,

a ruined fragment rearing proud against a fevered sky.

Look, see the stars

and how they hang so high and far,

clustered in a glittering veil, always out of reach,

and stretch a hand to touch the light,

the velvet, bird-soft music of the night.

Rise up into the belly of the morning,

where clouds scud, ghost pale,

and follow the horses running,

too blue to see against the sky.

Here, the dream is waiting,

clad in sunlight and moonbeams,

here is where we run with the pack,

the tongue-lolling, soft-furred, curl-tailed pack

and nothing will touch us with pitch-smeared fingers,

nothing will paint us with the colours of death