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Posts Tagged ‘dreams’

I sit and look out,

hearing the ocean rolling in front of me…

head back,

eyes closed,

… and I’m gone.

Counting on my daydreams to carry me away,

and they do, quickly…

I can taste the salt on my lips,

the uncomfortableness of the sand scratching my skin,

the breeze — the breeze is welcoming across my burning skin.

The sun is high in the sky but my daydreams don’t care,

they grab hold of my thoughts… filling my head with a world of forgotten promises.

Our truths are so varied but we end up at the same place,

a ship bringing us close to shore,

safely.

If I could fly… I’d spring out of this dream and jump in the waves,

I’d relax as the water churns around me,

I’d forget to remember that the world can be messy.

I’d forget to remember that bruising is a lesson I needed to learn.

I’d forget to remember my way back isn’t through you…

and it’s not here.

Not on these pages.

Not in empty words that bring me to my knees.

Not in a half truth.

Then I know…

the way back is in this wave,

carrying me steadily along,

building and building until it’s out of control,

a tidal wave spilling onto a beach because it got in its way.

The pain surges through my mind as I crash without warning,

left to sort it all out,

separate it into neat organized piles of chaos.

Here…

in the debris left behind,

is my beautiful star.

Here…

in the debris,

is my necessary truth.

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this is the poem i didn’t write.

it put me on a collision course with all the stones i threw.

it pushed me within inches of the blue part of the flame.

it made me hold my gaze so long my eyes burned.

it tied me to the tracks and walked slowly away.

it cut my anchor and left me drifting from the shore.

it opened the door and locked it as i passed through.

it cringed when i sang out of key.

it left me stranded on this page because you were afraid to acknowledge it.

it whispered in my ear all the ways the pain would go away.

it thundered around in my head not letting me sleep.

it clinched my jaw so tight it ached for days.

it held me under the waves until i quit struggling.

it confused my mind with a race track of thoughts.

it hummed in my ears at a deafening silence.

it filled my pen with angry words and sneered when i couldn’t let them out.

it laughed when the words went astray.

it proudly held up another rejection note.

it jarred me awake just so i wouldn’t remember.

it convinced me that breathing was bad.

it gave a fleeting thought all the power.

it lied and said there’s no room for any space between.

it told me you read it.

it pushed dysfunction to the front of my head.

it made me look ridiculous for pressing publish.

it promised it would all be clean slated.

it yelled when i tried to start over.

it ripped out my heart and wiped it on this page.

it cursed me with a year of silence.

it jumped from the highest cliff to the jagged rocks below.

it smiled at me from the murky bottom.

it complicated the words i wanted to say.

it dared to think i wasn’t strong enough.

it quivered when i said “fuck what you think”.

it shook in fear at my determination.

it laid prostrate long enough to write it down.

this is the poem i didn’t write.

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do you sleep?

there’s a humming in my ears,

a ringing,

a sound that will not go away.

i cover my ears,

i bury my head,

… and yet, it is there.

there’s a singing i can hear,

a song,

a chorus just out of my reach.

i turn my head,

i strain to hear the words,

… and yet, it is there.

there is laughter all around,

a joy,

i see it in the distance,

reaching out my hand,

i can barely catch the vibrations,

… and yet, it is there.

there’s a life i can see,

a light,

i turn my face,

i raise my hands,

i can just feel the outline,

… and yet, it is there.

there is courage in this place,

movement,

my feet run faster,

i jump and my wings spread out,

… and yet, it is there.

it is there.

do you sleep?

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The field next door is perfectly mowed, I look at it because to me it is the world… my world. The world that keeps me company every summer. In the middle we’ve carved out a baseball field where we play every day. I never worry about being the last one chosen… they all want me on their team. I run fast. I hit hard. I throw far. I never give up. I am wild.

There’s a dirt track that circles the boundary, worn down from the motorcycle that the boys next door own. I sneak on it, out of the sight of my grandmother. My legs are too short to crank the kick-starter so the boys do it for me. I ride around the track, my sweaty brown hair flapping uncontrollably in the summer heat as I beg the bike to go faster as I approach the bump that will send me into the air for a brief second. I am wild.

The boys are waiting as I round the corner, screaming at me over the roar of engine to stop because it’s their turn. I keep going — they’re twice as old and twice as big as me but I laugh wildly as I tear past them for another time around the track and over that bump. They curse at me, laughing, when I finally stop and call me punk and squirt and pat my head and none of them go as fast I did — none of them. I am wild.

The sun disappears and we say our goodbyes for the night, I’m the last one to leave at the end of every day and the first one to arrive in the mornings. The boys walk to sit with the adults gathered in the backyard of their house. I turn and give the field a final look before I wind my way through the opening in the bushes that separates the field and the serene perfection of my grandmother’s immaculately groomed back yard.

She sits by the open window, the warm breeze blows the curtains back just a bit, the family next door laughs and screams and curses. She can smell the spilled beer and the unfiltered cigarettes as if she were standing in the middle of them… instead of where she is, on the edge of the footstool peering through the open window. I join her.

We watch together and listen together and we are silent, together. I wonder if she wishes she were sitting in the backyard with them… unencumbered by the foul smells and prickly words thrashing through the summer air all around them. I look at her. I see the want in her eyes… briefly. I stand up, tired of watching, and walk away, leaving her there… still staring.

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I see you… standing there on the corner.

A cigarette hanging from your mouth, your fingertips are yellowed by the repulsive habit. Your hair is dirty, there is no color… just the color of alone, empty, left-over. You’re clothes are disheveled. I imagine you sifting through the pile of used clothes, strewn across a cold concrete floor –piece milling your outfit together, hurriedly before anyone else joins you. Then you pick out your mat and place it in a spot close to the bathroom, you think you have a better chance of sleep with the faint light creeping under the door — the complete dark of the large room scares you.

I know this about you… I can see it.

Once your mat is in place you sprint to the front of the line for food… you know you have a better chance at seconds if you’re at the front, you know this because you watched the others those first couple of times and the power of osmosis gave you the knowledge to survive these nights. When you have your food, you pick the table closest to the front… closest to the line. You can gauge the quantity of food left and when you need to get back in line. Your eyes dart back and forth between the line and your food only you can’t even see your food — you don’t care. It’s hot. You eat. You look right through your plate to the memories of a life you think must have been lived by someone else.

I know this about you… I can see it.

I can see the baby being held by a mother — love in her eyes, a smile on her face. Her hair falls gently past her shoulder and tickles your cheek as she sings Van Morrison and there you are… into the mystic. Dancing around in her arms, clinging to the warmth of her breath, inhaling the sweet scent of her dreams — the dreams she had for you. The report card she knew she would frame, the touchdown she knew you would catch, the college she knew you would attend… she knew you would have her gypsy soul. And she danced and she twirled and you closed your eyes and…

I know this about you… I can see it.

When the morning comes you gather your things… a backpack with clothes, a toothbrush, a marker, matches — your cigarettes. You stand in the line again, waiting for your breakfast and the sack lunch for later. You put it all in your backpack and you wait outside for the van to leave and carry you back to this corner — this corner where I pull up to everyday and I watch you put that cigarette to your mouth and I see your yellowed finger tips and I wonder if anyone ever held you in their arms. I wonder if you ever knew the hope of someone who believed in you. I wonder if anyone ever gazed down on you while you were sleeping and wished you dreams of unicorns and bunny rabbits and clouds shaped like hearts. I wonder if anyone ever stood up for you — I wonder if you remember.

I see you… standing there on the corner.

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“Be that girl they sing about”,

I tell you, but only so I can hear.

You’re sleeping, your hands tucked under your cheek as if they were placed there for a painting. Your tattered blanket wrapped gently around your soft brown hair. Your worn stuffed bunny flopped across your feet.

I stare.

I listen to the rhythmic breathing — in, out, repeat. I bend down and I inhale a lung full of your freshly shampooed hair. I press my lips to your cheek and I want to bury my heart right there, forever. Breathe in, breathe out, repeat.

I whisper into your ear, “Be that girl they sing about.”

I stand in your doorway, just looking at you breathe. It’s so strong and sure and alive. Your eyes twitch from the dream you’re having… bunny rabbits or unicorns or maybe, you’re dancing and singing. Maybe you’re walking on the beach in search of the perfect heart-shaped shell. Maybe I’m with you…

I stare.

I whisper before I leave, “be that girl they sing about.”

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I have a dream, always the same dream, on many occasions, since I was a young child… always the same dream. The people in the dream change, the place that the dream happens changes… the premise stays the same though — a tornado is after me and I can’t out run it. I try — I run as fast as I can, jumping fences and ponds, scaling walls and sliding down unknown paths, when I can’t run any farther, I hide in the most distant corner of my dream, I even yell at myself in the dream to “Wake Up!”. The tornado always catches me — then I wake up breathless, scared, eyes out of focus, stumbling in the dark — the same dream… ever since I was a child.

I guess, at this point, trying to pretend that my most recent dream was anything other than a tornado chasing me down while I frantically tried to run from it as I’m guarding my loved ones from its path — would be pointless. It was, in fact, a tornado dream. One of the most vivid tornado dreams I’ve ever had — with a few plot twists that I’ll share.

I was at my parents house this time — my childhood home. There wasn’t just one huge tornado as is always the case with this dream… there were many, hundreds even. And they were water spouts — not necessarily tornadoes (I know water spouts don’t actually occur in Tennessee but you know, it was a dream). I was looking out the front door, talking with my father about the best course of action to take in order to avoid complete and total annihilation… staring at these water spouts surrounding our home as they readied themselves to unleash a fury of pain upon us. Then, as sometimes is the case in my dreams as well as real life, I opened the door and walked out towards the water spouts. I thought I could wrestle them while everyone else stayed safe in the house, I thought they would go away and leave us alone.

So, I approached the closest water-spout and realized I had made a terrible mistake. I turned to go back to the semi-shelter of the house with my mother and father, but it was too late. I was knocked to the ground by the water-spout and began rolling about uncontrollably. I was able to grab a handful of grass from underneath me and clung to it to steady myself. The water-spout crashed over me like a wave in the ocean and my feet were lifted off the ground so that I was doing a hand stand as I continued to cling to the grass. There was water everywhere as I was submerged in unrelenting wave after unrelenting wave… and then I remembered — I love water.

I love the ocean and playing in the waves and being tossed around like a rag doll and steadying my feet in the sand at the edge of the water and diving deep underneath the crashing waves… I smiled. I let go of one hand and looked towards my parents who were standing in the doorway observing the chaos and I gave them a “thumbs up” (I might have winked as well, you never know — it’s my dream).

So there I was… upside down in the front yard, clinging by one hand to the grass below me, drenched in the most beautiful blue salt water, giving a “thumbs up” to my parents and a coy smile — and the water-spout was gone. Just like that — gone. I felt so self-assured, so confident… I stood up and moved towards the next water-spout and then — I awoke.

For years I have been fleeing those tornadoes — for years I have been trying to out run those damned tornadoes. I never could, they were always faster and stronger and I always woke up breathless and scared. Until this one night when I stood my ground, this one night that I didn’t run, this one night I grabbed on to the smallest blade of grass and I realized I didn’t need to flee the moment. I realized that some moments just take more patience and hesitation and assistance — some moments take assistance. So I’m daring myself to get up off the ground and move towards the tornadoes to see where they toss me. What about you? Any tornadoes tossing you around?

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