Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

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

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Friends, A Poem


I've been thinking a lot about friendships. My life and relationships have been changing dramatically over the past couple of years as I've moved into retirement. I was put in mind of this particular old poem of mine on friendship by today's rainy spring weather:


The walk to the park is chilly.
I sit on a bench and open a book.
Hovering clouds and damp grass add
to an aching coldness
in my body and spirit.

As a distant motion erupts
into a huge black dog bounding
toward me, I am split between
old fears of snarling dogs
and the greeting of this obviously
friendly stranger.

He sits before me,
for all the world smiling,
offering first head, then hindquarters
for a patting, and curls down,
his back against my feet
as if we have always been friends.

And in truth we have,
for I am again reminded
that all we ever have is now.

I return to my reading, the furred
curve of his back warming
my feet like a dark sun.

He rises in an explosion of padding
feet and jingling neck chain, to bound
away as quickly as he came.

I reflexively cling to the notion
of his affection,
then let it go with a blessing,
while through the clouds,
as if summoned by his parting
dance, the sun stretches
sudden ephemeral fingers.

‘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.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Four of My Dream-Based Poems

[Tarot card from the Rider/Waite/Smith deck]

I don’t have any special reason for sharing these four poems below. Other than they are all dream-based and have been languishing in my files for years. Truth be told, I only rarely send my work out for publication, so this is not an unusual fate for the vast majority of my writing.

All of these older poems I’ve been posting on this blog, though, have had exposure when I was doing poetry readings and performances (“back in the day”) in the New York City poetry community. I used to enjoy doing poetry readings, once I got past my initial terrible stage fright, that is, and felt a rapport developing with the audience.

I hope you will enjoy this sampling of my old dream based poems.

How to Finish a Poem Started in a Dream

Curve of sanity,
stand against chaos,
egg of reason.

hold it up to sunrise.

Warm it
between your fingers.

See what births
from its beckoning center.

Do not lose
this serpentine image
beneath the burning
of its own rising.

Let it insinuate
questing coils
to the deepest branches
of your waking mind,

build and bind
unknown worlds
with its turning.

* * * *

A dream

A young dark-haired woman
in a white bridal gown
is alone in a living room.

It has dark wood paneling
and a mantel over a fireplace,
in the style of at least fifty years ago.

She is wondering why
she keeps being moved
from room to room
in this house.

She asks out loud,
of no one in particular
“Why was Uncle plastered in the wall?”

As if in answer to a silly riddle
a voice replies
“Because there are no bullets left.”

* * * *

The Trees Within

These ancient woods that dwell within
hold the broken sky together.

Tall familiar friends, whose sides I climbed
in other times to mend the sky.

Wise ones, whose shadows I curl up beneath
and dream of climbing dark sweet bark
that creaks and nods,

dream of being offered up to sky again,
to touch and heal, rooted.

* * * *

On Collecting

The woman in my dream
writes poem after poem.
She is tall and golden, with a smile
like a crescent moon lazily rocking
on the rim of the world.

She reels in line after languid
line, her words strung like nebulae
in which my envy spins,
a shadow catch.

Wakefulness intrudes,
trailing a stark wire across
the sky on which dark birds
perch, waiting to escape through
the blue door of dawn.

Her lines unravel, the dream
more a black hole now that traps
its own lingering light.

I cull and hoard lines from her lost poems
like Grandma in the Great Depression
saved the least bit of string, knotted end
to end and wound round and round
in a motley globe.

* * * *

Resource: Artists Without Frontiers–Poetry & Dream Imagery Article.

‘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.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

MOTHER'S DAY: For My Mothers With Poems & A Haiku

brushing Mama’s
long red hair
summer sunset

Mother's Day 2006:

The above haiku is a memory from when I was nine, the summer before my birth mother died. I treasure this memory as it is the only one I have of her that is warm and close.

My father remarried when I was twelve and my step-mother proved to be a steadying influence in my young life. Though I did not develop a close relationship with her either, I was ultimately grateful for her presence in our lives.

My family has never quite “gotten” my poetry and I’ve become quite comfortable with this over the years. I have come to recognize that for most people poetry is an acquired taste. But an unexpected and most welcome outcome of sharing the below poem with my family not too long after my step-mother died, was how moved my father was by it:

Night Lights (in memory of my step-mother, Paulette)

Only the light on the far tip
of the night-stolen wing of the plane
assures me that formlessness ends.
Edges reassert themselves.
Boundaries re-embrace
the grief scattered soul.

Like her late night cigarette
that pinned endless dark,
guiding one or another of her children
through the front yard
to sit by her side and talk.

Clear chimes from her vodka martini,
marked the pace of her attention:
as wide, and often as pointed,
as the hovering night sky.
And always, some neighborhood cat,
chased by billowing shadows,
paused on the shore of her friendship.

Or those rate and precious times
she shed more light
on her turbulent inner life.
Wry self-knowledge or anger fluorescing,
she forced her words
past her fear of self-pity.
As I barely breathed,
afraid to snuff out this intimate flicker.

But her greatest gift was laughter,
that tickling, crackling, life-lighting stand
from which she tackled the universe.
As at the last,
her life stretched thin
to a thread more tenuous than smoke,
she grandly mimed holding, then smoking
the cigarette she could not have.
Requested an ashtray from a daughter.
And carefully,
so very carefully,
put out its light.

But her light is not gone, it is still with me. Just as my birth mother’s light is more available to me now than when I was a child, when I open my heart to it. It was in a dream I had as an adult that I finally felt warmly embraced by her:

In Mary’s Eyes

Perched on a night-time hill
I watch people file toward me:
children, adults, all ages in-between;
people I remember and people I don’t.

All are energetic, smiling,
moving purposefully as if answering
an urgent call to step to the fore
into the embrace of my vision.

I wonder if Mama will appear,
the mother who lost heart
and died when I was ten.

Then, at the end of the line
a tall figure appears.
It is Mama, come to life
as if stepping out of any old photo
I do not recall seeing.
Mama, walking gladly toward me.

She is a young woman,
of an age before she met my father,
in a soft silk dress
with a sweetheart neckline,
cheekbones shining proudly
above her moon-lit smile.

She is radiant for she comes to me
from a time before the war
of opposing needs and desperate denial
that finally tore her heart apart.

And she comes to embrace me deeply,
without pain, without regret
for the first time.

Our joy opens full sail in the warm blue wind
of Mary’s eyes, for she comes to me freely
from a time when she was happy.

And it is in joy that I share these small glimmerings of the light of the two mothers with which I was blessed.

Resource: Since I mention above that I think poetry may be an acquired taste, here’s a link to a wonderful essay on poetry Steven C. Scheer's Web of Words. You might want to browse his entire site, there’s a gold mine there, and not only for poetry.

P.S. My new Tarot blog (URL below) post for today is on The Empress card, the “archetypal mother” of the deck.

‘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.