Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

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

Friday, September 01, 2006


[graphic from]

It’s time to share directly from another aspect of my life, my paganism. I say “directly” because everything I say and do is rooted in my being a Pagan. I just don’t usually make this explicit.

It is not easy to define what a Pagan is or believes or does. But I think Stone Riley (artist of The Spirit Hill Tarot, see my review of this amazing art deck on my tarot blog) says it rather well, given there may be as many definitions as there are pagans -- and I’m only partly joking:

“Paganism (or Neo-Paganism) is an avant-garde bohemian shamanic religion in which religion is regarded as an art. You craft spiritual experiences for yourself and friends in search of actual real reality. Results seem encouraging so far. Politically, the movement is green and progressive with pacifist tendencies. It is utterly unorganized by choice and has user-participation literature instead of holy writ.”

In the rant below I am attempting to not only state my belief that Pagans in this country can be a significant force for good, but to make the point that everyone, Pagan and non-Pagan, agnostic and atheist, have a collective power for good available to us. I also have some fun in the poem with many folk’s uneasiness with the idea of a pagan religion. For which I hope I may be forgiven. I would rather respond with some gentle fun-making of others’ uneasiness about Pagans, than become defensive. We all – pagan or not – need to be open to the possibilities in others if we are to effectively address this world’s troubles.

Lastly, I believe this poem comes across much better when read aloud. Or maybe it’s just that despite my usual stage fright, I used to really enjoy performing this piece “back in the day.”

One Pagan’s Rant

We’re everywhere.
We’re in the streets shoveling snow and aching
with loneliness or dancing with the moon.

We’re before and after you on the supermarket line,
with food stamps or with cash, carting crying children
or standing impatiently alone.

We’re everywhere.
We’re in the political offices where decisions are made
governing your lives, brushing shoulders
with the highest and meanest,
the brightest and lowest of the mighty.

We’re in your – shock! – families.
We are your daughters and sons, nieces and nephews,
fathers, mothers, uncles, aunts, you name it.

We’re everywhere.
For all you know, we’re in the lint
between your toes, in the runs in your pantyhose –
though we didn’t cause them.

We’re in mansions and ghettoes, in opera houses
and on bread-lines – though we didn’t create them.

And we’re dying in the streets, shot in drive-bys
or beaten down by cops, beaten up by lovers
or raped by strangers – but we’d never do that.

Or maybe some of us did, for we are everywhere,
some driven as mad as many of yours
by a world in which too few have too much
and many have nothing,
while the creatures of this earth die around us
as we poison the very ground from which we spring.

And do you know?
Because we’re everywhere whenever one
of our soul’s lights meets up fully with one of yours
as it meets up with hers, as it touches theirs,
and embraces his or ours, to become a vital flame
this world, who is ourselves, inches closer to healing.

So, shelter these flames when they leap into being
between us, as if our lives and those of every
living thing on this still glorious globe
depend on them.

They do.

And we’re everywhere!

(December 1995; revised August 2006)

* * * *

The day I completed the draft for this post I received a reviewer’s copy of PAGAN EVERY DAY, by Barbara Ardinger. I’ll end this post with a quote from her introduction: “Just like everybody else, we pagans live ordinary lives.....[W]e know with a heart-thumping certainty that the ordinary is as sacred as anything any sage ever set apart as holy or divine.” This world in all its ordinariness and with all its creatures, is entrusted to us, pagan and non-pagan, believers and non-believers, alike. (I will be reviewing PAGAN EVERY DAY here in a few days.)

Resource: Belief.Net, massively resourceful site about world religions.

‘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.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


[Painted by Katy Kianush, Copyright © 2003, Art Arena]


August 1, 2006

the pawned figurine
of a woman and kestrel
shelved soul

August 2, 2006

I draw a dragon
snaggle-toothed and floppy-eared
fantastic effort

August 3, 2006

will be your name
last words heard

August 4, 2006

they miss the bomb shard
behind my left ear
hear me out!

August 5, 2006

intuition fails her
at the dark crossroads
will dumb luck suffice

August 6, 2006

dream chagrin
she says they invaded just
to leave me these gifts

August 7, 2006

two fax machines
Captain Kirk uncovers
their duplicity

August 8, 2006

keys in a crowd:
found, then lost, then
found again

August 9, 2006

the magical man
demonstrates his inner skills
invasive show

August 10, 2006

fear bites:
the one who makes her
a vampire will die

August 11, 2006

I finally fly
but get caught up in thorn trees
ouch! ouch-ouch!

August 12, 2006

subway riders
collide with her burden
why don’t they see it?

August 13, 2006

the cat fades away
I beg her to return
hooked on the image

August 14, 2006

sudden awareness
the wound on her leg
is someone else’s

August 15, 2006

she anxiously
skims the baby book
time is not ripe

August 16, 2006

she turns them all
against me
they were never mine

August 17, 2006

the heart of the
paper snowflake is uncut
we’ll write his name there

August 18, 2006

a piece of the old
quilt is missing
it’s in my blood

August 19, 2006

clear plastic dress
blissfully unaware
of her exposure

August 20, 2006

the lava flow
parts around the iris

Though this dream was not overtly about the Temperance card of The Tarot, both lava and irises are on the Rider/Waite/Smith version:
and the dream certainly addressed temperance, in the sense of self-restraint or moderation.

August 21, 2006

even the broken
help hold up the sky
the telamon heals

Telamon: a male support column figure in architecture. I did not know this when I had the dream but I did know about caryatids -- female supporting columns -- and was aware in the dream of the resemblance to them. The dream was also a very Four of Swords scene (Rider/Waite/Smith deck): The telamon was lying in or on a coffin-like stone/concrete box, his arms extended above his head, and he was broken in some way -- a Four of Swords meaning is "healing." Stacked above him, upright, were three more telamons, their arms also above their heads, making the broken one the foundation -- a quality of the number four -- of the support. (Dreamed evening of 8/15/06)

August 22, 2006

the young techie
fixes the audio tape
words put in her mouth

I've been troubled all along in my dream haiku by how wordy they are and jammed with images. That's a hazard for me as in dream work the aim is usually to get down as much detail as possible. Then, when writing the dream haiku, I find myself attached to what may be unnecessary. So, here's an edit I just did of the above dream haiku:

he edits
the audio tape
words put in her mouth

August 23, 2006

summer morning
he was only a dream

August 24, 2006

using Paris Hilton’s
china tea cup

August 25, 2006

estranged friend
she admires his dark

August 26, 2006

riding my footstool
left foot as brake
armchair tourist

August 27, 2006

the new king gives me
a heavy gold chain necklace
new egyptian queen

August 28, 2006

the puzzle she is
neatly fits the empty space
one piece in the Puzzle

August 29, 2006

she stands transparent
in front of herself
living filter

August 30, 2006

a dark shadow
invades the soldier’s skull
the war at home

August 31, 2006

faithless companions
cartoon dogs morph
one into the other

* * *

Resource: TinyWords, a daily haiku, with archives, and you can sign up for the daily email; really nice haiku with some more experimental in form.

‘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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Wednesday, August 30, 2006


[photo courtesy of]

(written in 1994)

A last crescent of bread
shines in the dark night
of the tabletop

I shamelessly devour
our moon

* * * *

Okay, I admit it! I just lost my battle with that pint of ice cream. In this case, my loss is my gain. :-)

Resource: Current Moon Phase, which on the date of this post just happens to be a crescent (waxing, of a size like one between the two on the far right of the graphic above).

‘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, August 29, 2006


[photo: Northumberland, England, from]

A regular visitor (what a delightful concept!) to this blog would probably note a lack of work about, ahem, "romance." That's been rather deliberate. Not that I have written a tremendous amount of sensual work but that which I have I've chosen not to post so far. I've never been comfortable publicly expressing feelings and thoughts about this area of human experience. In the years when I was reading my work publicly, I was even more uncomfortable sharing an overtly sensual piece than others.

That said, when I was going through my work recently to choose some to submit for publication I came across the poem below. It received a First Place prize from The Feminist Writers' Guild/ Woman of Promise Contest, many years ago. And, yes, I am a large bodied woman (currently working to lose more weight after having lost 100 pounds over the past few years). Enough said; here's the poem:


Give yourself to a grand sculpting:
my darkling seashore
threatening briefly
to keep your hands' hot shape.

Feed at the great breast of my body:
this surging queendom
whose cold surface lights
now barely survive
in the blue of my eyes.

Be covered and cradled,
shipwrecked and born again,
to land and lie resting
in the salty shadows
of my slowly shifting dunes.

Then close your quieting eyes.

And feel my waves
breaking their habit of cold
against the sky.

* * * *

Resource: Beach Photos at, I'm totalling indulging myself with this link; hope you like beaches, too.

‘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, August 27, 2006

IN THE EYE OF THE BOULDER (A Writing Exercise With A Collective Poem)

[Mandala courtesy of Zodiac Arts]

Years back I offered creative writing classes at various venues, and for various populations. For example, the blind and visually impaired, seniors, children, and folk with life threatening illnesses and their friends and families. Today’s post is from a workshop series I tailored specifically for working with that last group at the (now defunct) Manhattan Center for Living in 1991.

Below are excerpts from my opening talk, along with the entire guided visualization I wrote for one class and the resulting poem. With respect to guided visualizations, I would read them aloud after preparing the group with a relaxation exercise. I sometimes brought in one or two of my musical instruments to play before, and occasionally even during, a guided visualization to help set the tone or scene. There were also numerous handouts I'd offer, such as ideas for producing creative writing, copies of articles about writing, recommended reading lists, and so on.


....My approach here is to use writing to help us be fully present, to contact our creative, growing edges.

....I believe creativity is as basic to our lives as this: to manifest anything, we must first imagine it.

An underlying premise in this work is that our lives are profoundly creative. That is, not only artists, writers, musicians, etc. are being creative. Simply by living we are all involved in profound on-going creativity.

Another premise is that each of our journeys is unique. No one can ultimately tell us how to go about our journeys (though obviously others influence them). Therefore, my aims are to help us reconnect to our inner sources of creativity and wisdom by offering a structure for connecting, and to foster an accepting, compassionate atmosphere.

I want to emphasize two other extremely important premises on which I operate:

1) Everything I suggest here is entirely optional. If you don’t want to write about something suggested, try writing about whatever comes to mind. (And if you really don't want to write, that's OK, too.) I deeply believe wherever we are at is the right place to write from. Another option is whether or not you share with us what you write or experience here. We will respect any and all hesitations.

2) You cannot get anything wrong here, at least not by my lights. This workshop is for you and your process. Let it flow in whatever form it flows. Correcting, editing, etc. can all be done later, and only if you want to.


[I would read the below slowly and clearly, pausing to allow for suggested note-taking at appropriate points.]

Sometimes life can be like the Greek myth of Sisyphus, as he pushes the same boulder up a hill, again and again. Only to have it roll back down when he gets to the top.

– Visualize yourself pushing some boulder of a problem in your life, up a hill. And that you have pushed this same boulder up this same hill before.

– How do you feel as you are doing it?

– Describe your surroundings.

– Describe your boulder: what does it look, feel, smell like? How do you feel about pushing it up this same hill, again and again?

– Describe what you’d like to do to or with your boulder. Do you want to keep doing this? Or do you want the situation to change?

– The boulder is magical. It has a voice. Let the boulder talk back to you now, responding to everything you’ve just written or been through. It may have some valuable information for you.

– What is your response to what the boulder just told you?

– What solution can you think of to this repetitive boulder pushing? If no solution occurs to you, where do you think this situation might go if it were a story in a book?

[After several minutes of writing or simply quiet time, I’d direct them slowly back to the room, to present time and space. We’d check in with each other and share as we wanted or needed to. Then I’d lead them in a collective writing exercise, in which each would contribute one line or phrase to a collective poem, in this case called “In the Eye of the Boulder.” We’d edit it for grammar, sense and line order as we felt was needed. Below is the collective poem that resulted from this particular exercise.]

(Collectively Written Poem)

“Release,” we say,
and “Release” again,
standing before the boulder
barring the garden gate.

The boulder rolls away,
a bird sings:
we enter.

Requested, or even not, a growing
towards without.

The risk you take
today will be your own.

The risk not taken, will not
lead you home.

[Written by MCFL Re-Creative Writing Class of March 2, 1991]

* * * *

How these classes worked out was always a surprise to me, and they were always very moving. It was more than the usual honor to have these participants share in this particular workshop series as many did not consider themselves creative and many had never tried to write poetry or prose. In workshops such as these some moving moments of insight or bravery always occurred during the sharing after the guided visualization. However, I often felt these exercises and poems were more like seeds. That what would grow from them would not be known for some time as the participants lived with their experiences. I hope that these class experiences ultimately reflected their creativity back to them, helping them to open even more to the possibilities of their lives.

Resource: The Healing Powers of Journaling, an inspiring article by Christin Snyder.

‘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.