Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

SEE ALSO: TRYING TO HOLD A BOX OF LIGHT (photos, realistic to abstract)

Sunday, July 16, 2006



The past is always present for me,* but never more so than recently. As the ending image of the poem below states, it has been "invading my dreams" even more than usual and more obviously. Decades of experience have taught me that this "step up" in the past's incursions on the present indicate some sort of important realization or change is in the offing. As the end of the poem also indicates this makes for some anxiety. Though experience in the years since I wrote this poem has made the waiting somewhat easier, knowing as I do now that anticipation is worse than the actuality.

INVOLUTION is at least 20 years old. The dream that inspired it is described in the first five lines. The initial draft was much longer. (I wish I had that early draft as it might be very interesting to see what I cut and what got changed.) I shared the draft with an office friend who was a wonderful writer. He very tactfully suggested I write another draft without reference to the first one, and just let what comes, come. When I shared the result of doing this he said in a laughing but vaguely dismayed tone of voice "You've cut off its head!" He never was one to give either outright praise or criticim so I knew that was all the response I'd get. And as I was content with the result his suggestion produced, I left it at this version:


The red ball you chased across
the long green lawn of your youth
plunged each time off a cliff
and you blindly after it,
a heap of hieroglyphic bones.

They are knitted now, those bones.
Their fracture lines knotted
into finest filigree.

Their labyrinthine patterns
invade your dreams nightly,
tattoos breathing
on a sailor's impending chest.

* * *

P. S. The word "impending" occasionally generated puzzlement when I'd share this piece at poetry readings. Back then I considered changing it to "hovering" but that doesn't, at least to me, carry the subtle menace that "impending" does. So, I left it as is.

* I don't think I've mentioned on this blog how I have a sense that life moves in a spiral fashion. Forward or upward or downward (and at really bad times turning so that it knots itself up entirely), but always coming around again to integrate whatever we need to from our pasts. I've posted this little aphorism to my Tarot blog about The Wheel of Fortune:

passing our pasts
on each turning
of the spiral,
we gather in
and move on

I read recently about a South Amercian Indian tribe whose language and body gestures have traditionally placed the past in the front, before them. As opposed to what has been thought to be a universal constant of the past being metaphorically to our backs. Backs To The Future, in the UCSD news.

* * *

Resource: Literature Online, classic literature library.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


[aka: Patricia Kelly]

****If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”)****My other blog: ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL.


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