Dream Life

Written by: Jeff Rich


In that small moment dream takes
to fly from memory and become
the nagging image of forgetfulness
the muted clank of psyche's hold
I can turn too well in bed
and learn the pains of comfort.


Whenever these rivers of the night
Dry hard into red scorched beds
Depression takes over my daily self
Like the avenging angel of time.
Scouring winds rub out the image
Leaving behind the carcase of summer.


Suppose thought gave way to dream.
Bridges would collapse. Our simple talk
Would become a spree of metaphor
Not even poets could afford.
Self would reign over all meaning
And again the tower would fall.


But why do these solitary creations
reveal their meaning first to others
as if the dreaming tongue betrayed
its beloved solipsism? Eyes wrapped
in fabrics of truth and lies,
the dream asks its interlocutor: who?


A tree springs from my stomach.
Nebuchadnezzar's madness overcomes time and reason
to plant itself in my soil
to come alive again as if
all history is compressed by night
into an image none can forget.


This drowning boat, this fish river,
this medusa returning as a bowl
of squirming snakes which I eat:
these dreams lie like abandoned gifts
but still share their secret being
with listeners to my night's echo.