Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

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

Friday, April 21, 2006

The Demise of Pegasus Dreaming, With A Scifaiku

I mentioned in my first post that my web site, PEGASUS DREAMING: Dreams, Poetry & Tarot, would soon be more. The host site – Suite 101 – had given me two weeks’ notice that they would no longer be hosting sites. Although in Suite101's usual unreliable, unprofessional and uncommunicative manner they left Peg (as I think of PEGASUS DREAMING) up well past their own deadline date, it is now finally down as of yesterday.

I have already expressed my gratitude to contributors for whom I still have current contact information, and will again express my gratitude here to all who were part of Peg.

After six years; over 100 authors’ and artists’ work posted; many links, graphics, articles, quotes, and more; and over 41,000 visitors, I feel a strong need to acknowledge the passing of Peg. I had initially planned to reconstruct it elsewhere (it could not just be transferred wholesale to a new site, due to how Suite101 stores files), but now have come to feel that its time may well have passed. Should I change my mind in the future, I do have all the files necessary to reconstruct it at a new site.

I had not expected to be quite so sad when Peg was finally gone. I did know I had invested a great deal of creative effort and time in the process, but had not fully acknowledged how much heart I attempted to infuse into Peg. In that paradoxical way that losses have, although I feel a little piece of me has gone with Peg, it will also always be with me, guiding me with all I have learned this past six years.

You will note that this blog covers two of the three areas addressed by Peg – dreams and poetry. I will eventually be developing a second blog to address The Tarot. If you want to be notified when this Tarot blog is up, please email me to be put on a mailing list or keep checking in here for notice of it’s inception. (There is one article, and possibly more in the future, though, describing techniques for using The Tarot with poetry and dreams on this blog.)

It’s odd, but I’ve only written one poem (a scifaiku, below) about Pegasus, although Peg had many Pegasus graphics and poems by other authors. I’ve also very rarely had dreams about Pegasus:

the Pegasus brings us
safely to ground

(a scifaiku, written 2/06)

In a way, I feel that’s exactly what PEGASUS DREAMING has done now that these six years are over. Speaking for myself, it was a very good flight.

May we all take wing in ways we find rewarding.

Resource: Rich's Pegopedia, information about Pegasus.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”) * * * *
FUTURE POST(S):Using Your Dreams to Create Poetry & Stories (4 fun exercises); Using Tarot With Dreams That Got Away * * * *

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Scifaibun (A Haibun-Based Scifi-Fantasy Poetry Form)

In an earlier post I spoke about scifaiku. Today’s post shares one of my attempts at scifaibun, a form based on haibun (one or more poetic paragraphs with a capping haiku; see link at end of article for a haibun web site).

Scifaibun is a delightful form to write in. My brief comments follow it.

(from an alien point of view)

We are happily drinking the rising light when the foreign thing crashes through us, scattering poisonous shadows. Our ancestral stories speak of such things: solids, carrying even stranger solids – living things who are able to breathe in either light or shadow:

filling in
the wound of passage:
light heals all

We are briefly shocked – a rare feeling indeed – when a small solid separates from the larger solid. Although this little solid does not allow light to travel through it, its surface carries light, as it hovers quietly, bobbing:

oh, this “I”
is so lonely!
darkness looms

We turn to feeding on the joyous light, disturbed as the small solid’s feelings of separateness spread rapidly among us. They are so dense, these feelings. Will they block the light? Then it leaps:

the solid enters
our tumbling joy:
shadows burn away

The little solid spins madly, radiating fear. But what can it possibly be afraid of here? We are in joy, feeding together, singing to and through each other. This is the state we endlessly create, in spite of returning shadows, in spite of the dark’s cold fingers:

the solid’s fear
chills us:
joy is fleeting

We have no concept for this return of our songs from the outside of the solid in our midst, mixed with its fading fear. We have only "through" and "toward" and "with" for singing. But trailing our songs returned by the solid comes a new conception:

we are a-tremble
with this discovery:
this cry, this "echo"

And, oh, the small solid’s song of fear vibrates on to a new level, thrilling through us with our mutual delight at new understandings:

the solid knows!
the giving
is the song

Our old heart bursts the eons of memories it holds for us diffused easily into our nearest nascent heart. We trill our old one’s death joy:

hearts change
the songs
go on forever

* * * *

This resulted from a suggestion to the scifaiku group to write a scifaibun from an alien viewpoint. In mine above, the alternating paragraphs and scifaikus can read a bit like a "call and response" piece. The paragraphs being the chorus, and the scifaikus being individual voices crystallizing the point.

* * * *

May we all sing our songs of changing.

Resource: Contemporary Haibun Online.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email
me for permission (under “View my complete profile”) * * * *
FUTURE POST(S):Using Your Dreams to Create Poetry & Stories (4 fun exercises); Using Tarot With Dreams That Got Away. * * * *

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Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Writing Poetry Based on Dreams, With Example Poems

her sunflower poem
their big brown eyes
in a dream

(dream-based haiku)


For almost 40 years I have been intrigued with night dreams and how we use them in our writing. I believe that dreams are a reservoir of creativity that can be used in all areas of our lives. This post offers a description of the methods I use to write poetry based on my dreams, with an example dream-based poem of mine for each type of approach. These are methods I have used in my work over many years both as a dreamer and as a poet.

With respect to writing dream-based poems, I’ve heard it said that the poem is not the dream. I agree completely. However, I would add that even the dream, as we have remembered and then recorded it, is not the dream. Only the actual dream in the process of being dreamed, is the dream. I make the basic assumption that by just observing a dream--by remembering and recording it--we have already changed it in some way. And, of course, if we are lucid dreamers, we consciously cooperate in changing the dream even as it is being dreamed.

Nor is a dream-based poem a full exploration of a dream, though it may lead to partial understanding or continue beyond the dream's original scope. In fact, I do not believe a dream is ever fully grasped. I have mined the same dream over a period of months and even years, and obtained new and utterly different insights.


Following are three methods I have used when attempting to write a dream-based poem:

One: I organize the original dream transcript--correcting grammar, improving flow of action or thought, inserting "poetic" line breaks, etc. I sometimes find the dream/poem suggests additional action or images in this process.

SAMPLE BELOW -- This is an old poem based on an even older two dreams, both dreamed the same night. The writing process produced no particular insight but I still find its images intriguing:


I crash on the gritty shore of morning:

I had been dreaming again of flying,
ballast under my right arm quickly becoming burden,
overbalancing forward, then righting myself;
my legs dangling dangerously close to ground
as a dark man snatches at my ankles.

I wash out to sleep again
and dream of a cat
curled around and licking
a dreaming human embryo.

Two: I re-enter the dream using the dream scenario as a guided visualization, and see where it takes me. Which is sometimes to very unusual and unexpected places. This can produce more dream-like material that I add to the original dream transcript on which I then base a poem.

SAMPLE POEM -- The re-entry produced the last three stanzas:


Horse and I arrive at the cay
to dive for treasure sunk
by raging storms and buried
by the sea’s maternal sweeping

Horse, tired to his bones,
makes one more leap of faith
into the softly glowing depths,
I on his wide brown back

We land in a long golden furrow
that leads along the warm sea bottom

Following the trough,
Horse lopes slowly and surely
buoyed out of time by the sea

He dips his great head once,
twice, three times to scoop up
cavernous mouthsfull of sand,
straining each in its turn
through his large white teeth

In a huge explosion of horse,
rider and foaming water,
we burst to the surface

The beach burns white
as Horse collapses
on the crystalline sand

From his open mouth, gems
of all colors spill endlessly:

Ruby, lapis, amethyst
and amber, citrine and peridot
all tumble onto the bright face
of the beach, refracting wildly
like the eyes of long forgotten gods

Three: This is the method I most commonly use. Working from memory, i.e., no reference to the original dream transcript, I begin writing a poem about a dream or dream image that has kept me intrigued. I will occasionally leave out parts of the original dream that seem unnecessary to the poem as it is unfolding. This third approach tends to yield a partial "interpretation" of the dream or dream image of which I was not previously aware.

SAMPLE POEM -- The writing process produced the insight in the last stanza:


Others try to free her father
from the front passenger seat
of the crashed car, where he
lies bleeding into a pile of snow.

Her father wishes she would
come to him, while he breaks
the window in frustration.

Her young dark-haired suitor
proudly displays his own wound:
a small flame, burning
from the center of his palm

Aghast, she smacks out the flame
with her gloved hand

On waking I regret my act:
this snuffing out of passion
as it rises sweetly through the debris
of an ancient love

By the way, I’ve found not every dream I attempt to base a poem on or try to re-enter, lends itself to these sorts of explorations. Yet just trying can sometimes reveal a useful insight into the dream.

There are also times when I feel the original dream has not been expanded or opened in any way by a poem I’ve written. However, I still have the poem. SAMPLE -- the haiku opening this post.

In my experience, the writing process itself almost always adds new elements to the original dream. Each having its own value, sometimes offering a startling or humorous insight. All this said, I would like to stress that the original well of the night dream transcript has many, many treasures to offer without being explored in a poem. In fact, in terms of the number of dreams I record, those that I base poems on are very few indeed. However, when so moved, I find writing about a dream can be richly rewarding, satisfying, and surprising.

Resource: Dream Network with an online journal, dream consulting, understanding dreams, booklets, and more.

May we always find ways to express what matters.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”) * * * *
FUTURE POST(S): Using Your Dreams to Create Poetry & Stories (4 fun exercises); Using Tarot With Dreams That Got Away.
* * * *

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Using The Tarot To Explore Dreams

I mentioned in a recent post I’d talk about how I use The Tarot to explore my dreams. The following is an up-dated melding of two articles I’ve written on this subject.


I’ve heard it said that using The Tarot with a dream is like dreaming about your dream. If so, what I’ve also heard said, that sometimes the key to a dream is in a subsequent dream, is particularly apt. I use journaling and dream re-entry, write dream-based poetry, go to the I-Ching and the Runes, and share dreams with friends, and find that The Tarot is as effective as any of these methods for dream work.


In my dream I listened to a former friend deny what she was clearly feeling. Leading me to wonder when I awoke, what I might be denying. The card I pulled at random was the Two of Wands from the Rider/Waite/Smith deck. What struck me immediately is that he holds a world globe in one hand. Traditional meanings have to do with “dominion” and “attainment of goals,” which meanings could have served to calm my concern about the dream. After all, he’s holding the world in his hands. But I have learned to stay with images a while and what surfaced next was “The world you can hold in your hands is too small a world for you.” This is not a meaning for the card that I have ever run across anywhere, and it rang all too true. I realized I was about to repeat an old pattern and limit the reach, or grasp, if you will, of my life, by playing it safe. What I was denying was my awareness of this.

The Tarot offered me an immediately graspable (pun intended) image to amplify the dream image. I do not claim that in realizing this I fully understood the dream. Only that because of The Tarot image I was able to recognize an important area of my life referenced by the dream that needed my waking intervention. Of course, not every dream/Tarot interface is as immediate or dramatic. But most are enlightening in some way, and many are humorous--and laughing is sometimes the most healing thing we can do (and there's a lot to be said for just plain enjoyable).


My approach to The Tarot is through a mix of intuitive flashes and the more traditional meanings of the cards. However, you need not have studied or even be familiar with The Tarot’s abundant images and meanings to use it to explore your dreams.

What you need are a willingness to set aside the time to listen inwardly to whatever surfaces while viewing the cards in relationship to the dream images. Then to take the time to keep careful notes. Lastly, but actually primarily, you need to hold a basic respect and compassion for yourself and the process, just as if working with someone else and her dream.

If you are going to purchase a Tarot deck for dream work, I recommend getting one with "illustrated pips." I.e., a deck with an illustrated scene on each card of the four minor suits, such as The Rider/Waite/Smith deck, and not just suit symbols. There's more for your intuition to grab on to.


Before I go to the Tarot cards, I read over the dream. I let what surfaces, surface. I read the dream as many times as I wish or need to.

Whatever responses, insights, questions arise, I write them down. Sometimes this leads to an exploration of the entire dream and I feel no need or desire to go to the Tarot.

If this reading and note making does not lead to a satisfactory exploration of the dream then I go to the Tarot.

I do sometimes go directly to The Tarot for help with a dream, bypassing reading and mulling it over. I may be rushed, or the dream may be very dense and complicated. In these cases, one card can sometimes open the dream up. But on most occasions when I have gone to The Tarot before working with the dream, I have found it difficult to relate the cards to my dream. Most of the time, when I read and mull the dream over first, when I do go to The Tarot it opens my dreams in very helpful and sometimes astounding ways. I believe the attempt to work on the dream first without The Tarot prepares the fertile ground of our unconscious for the advice and insights The Tarot images will help us harvest.


You may not wish to ask any question of The Tarot before pulling a card on a dream. This works fine, too. I do find, though, that sometimes I want to address a particular aspect or area, so by asking a question in my mind as I shuffle I "fine tune" the answer The Tarot will give.

A good question to ask when pulling one card at random is “What is most important that I hear from this dream?” This can be very illuminating.

Other good questions are:
– “Where is this dream going?” Like our lives, dreams are in process.
– “What action is being urged by this dream?” I find this question useful when I’ve been getting masses of insights from dream work over an extended period of time, but not seeing any translation of these insights into concrete change in my life.

You can also ask any question that comes to you, or none at all, when you pull a card on a dream.

Strange as it may sound, I believe The Tarot can also help glean something from unremembered dreams. I’ll share those questions in a future post.


As I mention above, all you really need to do is to listen inwardly to whatever surfaces while viewing the cards. Whatever you think on first viewing the card, even before trying to relate it to the dream, is often most important. Most often I find it offers a welcome insight, though ocassionally it may seem silly, or off-putting. In the latter cases, don't immediately reject that insight, but try to see how it may be amplifying the dream.

Sometimes, one particular aspect of the card "jumps out." Pay close attention to that aspect and what you think or feel about it.

Often the relationship to the dream is immediate and obvious. Sometimes I have to look at the card a bit, and then re-read the dream to make a connection.

A note here to experienced Tarot card readers: The meanings for the cards can also be instructive. Especially when a card seems "dense" in relationship to the dream. However, in my experience intuition trumps meaning, on the rare occasion there is a conflict or contradiction between them. Almost always, though, I find my intuition and the meaning amplify each other nicely.


Lastly, remember to keep notes. I usually append the card notes to the dream exploration notes, which I append to the actual dream. At one time I kept separate dream and Tarot journals. That got to be unwieldy and confusing. I now find having everything relating to one dream in one place, works quite well. I highlight important things when I've completed working with a dream, to make searching through my notes in the future easier. Often, this actually works. :-) Although I like hand-writing my notes, I do see the advantages to keeping computerized notes, such as the "search" function. You will find what works for you.


These are my experiences. We all develop our own relationships with our dream worlds and with The Tarot. You may very well develop your own methods of using The Tarot with your dreams. I offer my experiences as starting points and guideposts.

May we all realize (in both senses of that word) the gifts our dreams offer us.

And, Happy Easter!

Tarot Resource: a wonderful, extensive Tarot site Aecletic Tarot, among other things it has book, software and deck reviews, Tarot reading lessons, and a forum; as a collector of Tarot decks, I especially love the scanned images from hundreds of Tarot decks; you can sign up for a regular email about what’s new to the site.

‘til next time, keep dreaming,


* * * *If you wish to copy or use any of my writing or poems, please email me for permission (under “View my complete profile”) * * * *
FUTURE POST(S): Writing Poetry Based on Dreams (with example dream-based poems); Using Your Dreams to Create Poetry & Stories (4 fun exercises); Using Tarot With Dreams That Got Away
* * * *