Tag Archives: dreams

Bad Dreams


Passed along, mother to daughter,
like a rosary of dull beads,
her bad memories haunt me after,
old fears as polished litanies.

Like a rosary of dull beads,
sweat droplets collect in wrinkles;
old fears as polished litanies
swell up in mind, hands, and ankles.

Sweat droplets collect in wrinkles:
“Some anxiety in the night.”
Swelling in mind, hands, and ankles
calls a needled calm, pale and bright.

Some anxiety in the night,
passed along, mother to daughter,
calls a needled calm, pale and bright —
bad memories. They haunt me, after.

Creation of Dreams

Oh, no, not sissy dreams of what you wish
or what you want to be when you grow up,
no strategy for making ‘dreams’ come true.
Not the fears that itch & shiver in our skin.
Just ordinary plain vanilla dreams
(if any of the nightly concoctions
our brains cook up could ever be called “plain”),
or the dizzying disorienting
paths our minds wander when we aren’t looking
that pop like bubbles when we snap alert,
leaving only the faintest chill sprinkling
that quickly dries, or a faint scent that fades.
All the hard work our brains do while we sleep,
trying to assemble meaning, structure
and link the gathered fragments we rolled through,
stitching them like quilts to hold the layers
together, or perhaps some more fragile
metaphor. In the morning, I’m muddled
riding the bus, and wishing I was still
asleep. Looking out the windows, watching
very simply — what is familiar, what
is not. The ribs of the bridge at dawn strip
light and shadow like torn fabric, create
rhythms that bump along my brain’s ridges,
creating a sensory cavalcade,
memories escorted by eyes into
jumbled juxtapositions, strange puzzles.
The knotting network of nerves stretches out,
nudges the delicate dendrites that nose
from cell to cell blindly, tasting their way,
triggering a blip here, a sizzle there,
an ache, a bruise, bewilderment, old friends
familiar though you’ve never met before,
chatter, colors — stuttering chemicals’
curious cascading kaleidoscope.