Dream Excerpts from Opaque Traveler: A Dream Sequence in Verse (Tebot Bach press)
I am standing waist deep in water…
fish appear and disappear around me…
I see a bridge… it is a music box
with a turnstile on top that moves
and plays as the fish pass through…
I see a face with a moustache
and trimmed, brown beard…
a helmet with a green plume
and body armor around the chest and neck…
now the beard is bushy and black…
and there are glasses tinted red
resting on round, cheery cheeks
above an easy smile…
and now the beard is long and white
covering the face of an old man
reading a book…
in his hand a violet, crushed neat and flat
used to mark his pages…
then the old man, the book and his violet disappear into the water.
I am alone on a frozen river.
The sun is setting…
the days are short…too short.
I need them to be longer.
I begin painting a day which is hot and humid by the sea
and very long.
The beach is red, the waves green
and the cathedral on the cliff violet.
Inside the cathedral
there are people lighting candles
kneeling in prayer, eyes closed
in front of a painting of St. Augustine.
Outside someone has a brush
and is painting the stained glass windows
I cannot see their face.
Epilogue (A Heart)
On the wall next to my window
hangs the image of a heart.
It is red with green and violet patterns…
wands and cups…
stars and figure eights.
It is stuffed like an old quilted pillow
with fish spilling from its sides
where the dogs have torn away the stitching.
The fish are memories
that swim in and out of the pillow…
around and through its blood…
blood that moves steadily beneath a bridge
of outstretched human arms toward its end:
a pool of liquid, luminous
collecting beneath the sun
returning to air
to the sky
(seen and unseen)
leaving the pulsing fish behind.