Roswila's Dream & Poetry Realm

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

Wednesday, September 01, 2010


Another tough month. (“So, what else is new?” as my stepmother would say with a smile.) This dreamku series from August 26th is one of the few lightly hopeful dreams:


we enter the store
not at all sure if we’ll shop
sunny day at the mall

I’m surprised when she
puts her arm around my waist
just an acquaintance

we start belting out
“We’re off to see the Wizard...”
she sings alto quite well
as I fumble through the
melody I thought I knew

no shame, no blame, she
can’t recall the tune either
ambling along

we laugh and look around the Wizard can wait

There’s much reference in my comments below to books I’ve been reading, especially about the recent developments and new understandings in neurobiology. Google any of the neuroscience book titles or authors and you’ll find web pages with lots of information. I think these advances in understanding offer a lot of hope. The only thing I find myself really questioning is the whether Mind is just a result of the brain’s incredibly complex activity or if it has some other origin. Most of the reading seems to come down, if only implicitly, on the side of the former idea. I’m not so sure what I think at this point. Though the former viewpoint does seem to be an extreme reductionism in the face of the fact that what it is examining is endlessly complex and still not entirely known.

If nothing else all the reading I’m doing and then commenting thereon gives me a few timeouts from my emotional “sturm und drang.”


[PLEASE NOTE that in most browsers you can click on the image for a larger version.]

August 1, 2010


behind the paintings
arrayed on the sunny wharf
the placid sea

I enjoy noting
the rounded elements in one
her own impressions

another painting’s
famous and centuries old
she names the artist

I had not known
she was both knowledgeable
and talented
my surprise both surprises
and gently amuses me

[dreamku series capped by a tanka on a dream of 7-31-10. Image by Roswila]

August 2, 2010


King Henry the VIII
seeks throughout the castle grounds
for young slim me
dark robes don’t camouflage
the distortions of great weight
and the burdens of kingship

[tanka on a dream of 8-2-10. Image by Roswila]

August 3, 2010


I wander around
distracted by my grief
earth grass and a log
become my focus as I
almost trip and fall

the dark stranger at
my elbow steadies me
a shimmer by the log
catches our gazes
and he bows to check it out

a surprise palm full lost or sacrificed

he hands them to me
five small flat rose quartz crystals
on a silver chain

somehow he knows that
I should look at them slowly
his gentle instruction

the first I finger
on the chain is the largest
as well as palest
like a faded sunset on
a snow covered mountain peak

[two dreamku, a monoku, and three tanka on a dream of 8-2-10. Image by Roswila]

August 4, 2010


the apartment’s dark
and filled with stuff to toss out
I start organizing

a plant’s quite healthy
and only needs attention
why do they want to
throw out these strong striped leaves
that almost light up the room

I busy myself
placing this plant and others
thoughtfully around
a young man tells me each time
what to do as I do it

his presumption my dislike of being bossed

[a dreamku, two tanka, and a monoku on a dream of 8-3-10. Image by Roswila]

August 5, 2010


forty-five minutes left
and I’ve not written
her introduction
nor am I dressed and ready
to leave for the ceremony

maybe I should cancel
they could get someone else
I’m just a helper

then I notice the clock
it’s early morning not night
there’s plenty of time

relief floods one less thing to hate myself for

[a tanka, two dreamkus and a monoku on a dream of 8-5-10. What doesn’t get acknowledged in the label of perfectionism are the horrendous fears that drive it. The amygdala of a triggered perfectionist would light up the entire night sky, I’ll bet. Image by Roswila]

August 6, 2010


the devil is in
the little puppy-kitten
safely put away
or so he says and so he
most fervently believes

it’s locked away but
we know the puppy-kitten’s
not under control
we insist the man go back
and do something about it

his grave sadness
is no different than ours
evil’s still afoot
there’s no stuffing this puppy-
kitten-devil away

* * * * * * * *


only one knothole
captures her full attention
radiating light
she does not like being drawn so
even by this sparkling beauty

a spirit tells her
this knothole is hers to guard
and stand by always
just this one and no other
no matter she feels pinned down

spirit’s pale presence
and soft musical voice
compel her action
she walks up to the knothole
it sparkles a bright welcome

[two tanka series on two separate dreams of 8-5-10. I note that the director of dream action is from a vague “we” in the first dream, to a lovely spirit in the second. (I’m tempted to think of it as “Self” – with that capital “s” – as in Jungian psychology, but doubt it.) Here’s a non-dream-based tanka I wrote a while ago about an actual knothole:


a shining knothole
in the desk top at work
I swirl down into
long ago memories of shapes
radiating mystique and hope

This is clearly the source for the knothole image, as before sleep I was reading a scientific paper about implicit memories and neuroscience in a particular form of psychotherapy. Also, for a while I have been examining and trying to work with implicit memories and how they have influence without it even being conscious. And though at the time I wrote the tanka I was consciously referencing art images, as in poems and abstract art, these too can have everything to do with implicit memories. Image by Roswila]

August 7, 2010


I wish to purchase
the unique desk top sculpture
Goddess of Three Realms

air rises through water
shaping the Goddess in Her
water earth and air
aspects one after the other
regal and iridescent

Her Willendorf form
naked and nearly abstract
appears last in the cycle
of forming and unforming
in the water cylinder

I’ll have to lock it up each night fear of theft

[a dreamku, two tanka, and a monoku on a dream of 8-6-10. Here’s a link to Elizabeth Cunningham’s page. She’s the author of a book by the same title as this dreamku series. I’ve read all books on her author’s page except her most recent one. All highly recommended. Next, here’s a link to the Wikipedia page about the Willendorf Venus. Although clearly there's speculation about this little "Venus," she's often considered to be a paleolithic Goddess figure. Many, many years ago I made my own version of this Goddess out of dough art. Image by Roswila]

August 8, 2010


she wants to go out
much later in the evening
party in a club

although not ready
and with no clothes picked out yet
I’d rather go soon
my worry mounts about how
we’ll each do up our long hair

I still rush to prepare unstable situation

[a dreamku, tanka, and monoku on a dream of 8-7-10. Image by Roswila]

August 9, 2010


I tell her husband
I was surprised at my age
thirty-six years

his new short haircut
looks great and shines soft silver
I got my age wrong

his moue sixty-six I say chagrined

[two dreamku and a monoku on a dream of 8-9-10. Image: "Roswila Titlting Toward 67," taken by Kim, cropped and lightened by Roswila]

August 10, 2010


I’m closely checking
the crowded indoor garden
what can’t I find

sudden rapid growth
out of a plump beige bulb
long fuchsia stamens

I forget my search
the gardener needs pictures
of this joyful surprise

as I snap photos
from various angles
a day passes by
again unexpected
red stamens pop from a bud

I vaguely recall
I’d been looking for something
but fuchsia stamens
now have my full attention
as I snap more photographs

[three dreamku and two tanka on a dream of 8-9-10. Image by Roswila]

August 11, 2010


everyone tells him
he's something else
bearded companion

the truth? he's
one confused alien

[old dreamku pair on an old dream of 8-25-07. Image by Roswila]

August 12, 2010

we store unused things
in an empty cubicle
next to a packed one
much stuff stored in the full one
looks all too familiar

a male friend points to
a crate that might hold the corpse
we call the police

[an old tanka and dreamku on an old dream of 10-10-08. The conscious reason for choosing this one to post today is that my before-sleep reading is currently a murder mystery in which stuff discovered in storage space starts the plot rolling. This dream can also be seen -- with not too much stretching -- as a metaphor for another book I'm reading, "Being a Brainwise Therapist." (About applying the recent advances in neuroscience to improve the effectiveness of psychotherapy.) The incredible "storage capacities" of our brains and when, what and how everything gets stored and retrieved is, if not surprising, still rather a lot to take in. Image by Roswila]

August 13, 2010


I do not like nor
will I adhere to all their
dietary rules
this woman’s group draws my
interest nevertheless

her kitten and I
curl together on her rug
nap in the late sun

I wake suddenly
have I overstayed my welcome
in this new friend’s home

another visitor
points to the cloth sunflowers
on the wall near me
she says they represent
“the anger behind”

[two tanka and two dreamku on a dream of 8-13-10. Image by Roswila]

August 14, 2010

the flesh above
that ancient heart wound puckers
the body remembers

[an old dreamku on an old dream of 5-25-07. The more I read into recent neuroscience findings, it confirms that the body is crucial in bringing implicit -- what could be called "unconscious" -- memories into consciousness where they can be appropriately tended to. Image by Roswila]

August 15, 2010


he tells me to get
the stationary I made
my leafy golden photo
new high level employer

I unfold one sheet
of the sturdy long paper
what will be its text

[a tanka and a dreamku on a dream of 8-14-10. Image: "Spider Rock," by Roswila]

August 16, 2010


our music improv
group gathers for rehearsal
I warm up my didj
playing a few delicate
bell-like over tones

we decide I’ll play
my didj for our next show as
our kids come on stage
each will hold and speak about
a large drawing of their home

shy kids don’t project my playing will be soft

[two tanka and a monoku on a dream of 8-15-10.

[“didj” – short for didjeridu (or didgeridoo), an Australian aboriginal drone wind instrument traditionally made from the branch of a eucalyptus tree, that I actually play. “Over tones” – a musical note is actually made up of several “partial” different pitch notes, the dominant one the lowest of those in a note. An over tone is a higher one (often called a “harmonic”) that the musician may chose to “break out” and make more dominant. It’s hard to do –at least for me – on a didj and I’m not very good at it, though I can get a whispy faint over tone at times. I’m seeing how music improv groups make a good model for how our own psyches/brains organize themselves and accomplish all they do in any given fraction of a second. Image by Roswila of my two didjerdus on moving-in day (that’s a small rainstick on the left on the floor and an Udu drum in front of the didj’s)]

August 17, 2010

the clairvoyant race
feels no emotions

[an old dreamku on a dream of 11-13-06. This dream/ku actually was only a very small fraction of a science fiction story that I was writing in the dream. A future human race that had colonized a far planet had evolved without amygdalae. Which meant they had no emotions but that they were tremendously clairvoyant. In the story I was planning to explore what possibilities there were for an intimate relationhip between the main character -- a human from old earth with an amygdala, and an amygdala-less but clairvoyant man. Both with their weight of "ghosts" -- the former trailing the emotional past and the latter pulled forward by the formless future. BTW, this was before I knew anything of the amygdala's relationship to emotions. I envied the clairvoyant race a bit in the dream. And I do still sometimes feel a brief bit of envy over folk who apparently (operative word: apparently) have a far less intense emotional life and struggle therewith than I do. Image by Roswila -- note that vague lemniscate in the middle top clouds; the clouds low down middle were vaguely rainbow colored]

August 18, 2010


we need to disarm
the triggering system
desire for safety
during our new performance
with skilled and unskilled dancers

we disconnect three
small round black and white eyes
palpable relief

the mood pops awareness of a backup trigger

[a tanka, dreamku, and monoku on a dream of 8-17-10. Ain’t it the truth? Just get relaxed and feeling safe (inwardly or with another person or persons) and some other defense alarm sounds off. Image by Roswila]

August 19, 2010


he wants me to read
The Tarot cards for him
this mobster Don Juan

his black eyes narrow
as he whispers his demand
“The truth, only the truth”
about the three concerns
he has on mind to address

and that’s all he’ll say
even though I can only
read The Tarot not
his dark anxious mind bearing
so many tangled secrets

his withholding will be his loss I start shuffling

[a dreamku and three tanka on a dream of 8-18-10. Image by Roswila]

August 20, 2010


separation from him
necessitates I pummel him
distance achieved

my guilty feelings
he hands me brand new shoes
for my trip downstairs

they won’t fit why would I accept them anyway

[two dreamku and a monoku on a dream of 8-18-10. Image by Roswila -- this is an Isla Vista house that UCSB students rent rooms in; it's barely a block from the sea and maybe six blocks from where I live]

August 21, 2010


their attraction is strong will either make a move

he asks her to join
him on his investigation
she’s not dressed or packed

female friends of his
sidetrack her with a subtle trick
she’s abandoned nude

she calls him for help
and to report their betrayal
his own emergency
with his sick son and ex-wife
clearly takes precedence

the sound of water
splashing in a bath tub
he submerges his
unconscious blond toddler son
to bring down his high fever

next rescue his ex-wife cool water cradle

[two dreamku, two tanka, and a monoku on a dream of 8-18-10. Image by Roswila]

August 22, 2010


surprise! the rich
spoiled teenage boy was treated
for booze and drugs

he makes sarcastic
comments about the therapists
laced with wild stories
of what fun his last binge was
my stomach sinks with sorrow

[a dreamku and a tanka on a dream of 8-22-10. Image by Roswila]

August 23, 2010


the theatre actors
offer a wide range of games
and activities
the wooden floor boards creak
as children come and go

our two small kids
hold back cautiously
gigantic costumes
in loud colors on some actors
swirl unpredictably

we hear of a game
that will put black and white stripes
all over kids’ hands
only temporarily
with a small effort and no pain

to assure my child
I say I’ll do it with her
we choose striping gloves

hot water appears
instructions to pick one hand
to dunk and dye
and not to let the water
cool too much by each bowl

I choose what I think
is a left hand glove to wear
it has six fingers

once on I see
it's a right hand glove – leave it
to me to get it wrong
even when offering help --
I quickly switch hands

[dreamku and tanka series on a dream of 8-23-10. In my personal dream vocabulary the theatre often symbolizes the drama of the alcoholic family, and/or denial. I think both of those inform this dream. But the single biggest input may be all the right and left brain/neuroscience reading I’ve been doing. Seems to be some attempt to calm and reassure a kid aspect of myself, and clearly not yet coming from the right place or brain hemisphere. Could not stop wondering about that six-fingered glove. It was tugging at something. So I googled and was reminded that some ancient symbols -- such as that of a six-fingered hand -- were considered particularly effective in warding off malignant influences. Hm! Image by Roswila]

August 24, 2010

haunting images
refuse to leave my side
during the day time
long lost relationships salt
my dreams with a wish to forget

The above photo is a very new one. (Is that palm smoking or just growing a ghostly new frond?) Here's another shot below. I'm not sure which I like best. Possibly this second as the cloud is a bit more defined:

[Above images by Roswila]

August 25, 2010


curly auburn hair
frames his handsome young face
trainee watchmaker
he tapes a list of gold notes to
his side of a plate glass window

to 1853"
records his life span
meaning he’s sixty-three
and choosing to remain young

“Jewish of the Jewish
faith” indicates that he’s
both born within and
deciding to be faithful to
the Jewish tradition

will his pursuer
finally comprehend
this eternally young
and bright magnetic man
is not the right partner

[four tanka on a dream of 8-20-10, written 8-24-10. As I wrote the above series on the dream last night I clearly saw either the Jungian concept of the Puella Aeternus or the Puella Animus. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page on these Puer/Puella concepts. Very simply put the Puella (Aeternus or Animus) is an immature male aspect of the female psyche, though like “all archetypes, the puer [puella in the woman] is bi-polar, exhibiting both a ‘positive’ and a ‘negative’ aspect. The ‘positive’ side of the [puella] appears as the Divine Child who symbolizes newness, potential for growth, hope for the future.” The negative exhibits a sense that for “the time being one is doing this or that, but whether it is a [wo]man or a job, it is not yet what is really wanted, and there is always the fantasy that sometime in the future the real thing will come about.... The one thing dreaded throughout by such a type of [wo]man is to be bound to anything whatever.” Common dream symbols for this archetype are dreams of being bound, chained, or imprisoned; note this dream man is behind a plate glass window. Peter Pan is a classic example of a Puer figure and I’ve had many dreams of him. (Though I will note in later years Wendy also actually appeared. Image: "Not the Last Unicorn" by Roswila]

August 26, 2010


we enter the store
not at all sure if we’ll shop
sunny day at the mall

I’m surprised when she
puts her arm around my waist
just an acquaintance

we start belting out
“We’re off to see the Wizard...”
she sings alto quite well
as I fumble through the
melody I thought I knew

no shame, no blame, she
can’t recall the tune either
ambling along

we laugh and look around the Wizard can wait

[three dreamku, a tanka, and a monoku on a dream of 8-25-10. Image by Roswila]

August 27, 2010



loneliness less risky
I fly up to avoid the truth
in her pale eyes
the night sky echos all around
like a familiar tunnel


he’s a detective
and supposedly my friend
group gathering

his verbal betrayal
in front of everyone
stuns me speechless
he then reports others’
negative takes on me

terrible deep hurt
and hot bloody anger flood
in nauseous waves
I clear my head long enough
to gather my wits

no wish to defend
or explain myself remains
I will leave them all

[three tanka and two dreamku on two separate dreams of 8-26-10. Image: "Subrosa" by Roswila]

August 28, 2010


a man I don’t like
offers to marry me
I say yes to him
as friends have prepared it all
and I’d been left at the altar

we reschedule
and I start getting re-dressed
not much time left
a handsome friend comes in
to talk about the wedding cake

he tells me that
two more of my good male friends
have arrived in time
I rush and follow him out
to the office wedding space

my substitute groom’s a no-show too my amusement

all my friends and I
go on with the reception
affection abounds

[three tanka, a monoku, and a dreamku on a dream of 8-27-10. The amusement in the dream is still with me. My take in a Jungian sense is that this is about the “inner marriage” we go through in becoming more whole, more “individuated.” Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit it seems I’ve failed at this most important inner task twice! By the way, I recall reading that the “inner bride groom” or was it the animus – this whole post is making me feel silly :-D – often appears in dreams as a somewhat negative character, though usually more criminal than just unliked. (Boo-hoo, I can’t even have a correct inner bridge groom or animus image.) At any rate, I’m twice the failure at making this marriage. Image: "Waltz of the Brides" by Roswila]

August 29, 2010

the free piles of clothes:
are we stealing if we need
and take so many

[dreamku on a dream of 8-28-10. Image by Roswila]

August 30, 2010


the recording’s complete
it will play when needful
in the garden planter
hidden beneath white flowers
it waits fully rewound

time has come
the recording plays completely
as designed to do
it’s warning clear in the twilight
did you rewind I ask the man

of course not I think
and reach into the planter
the tape whirrs backward

he could not care less
about the time, expressing
interest only
in the woman in the house
hiding behind the curtains

she doesn’t like to be seen he says who cares I think

[three tanka, a dreamku, and a monoku on a dream of 8-29-10. Image by Roswila]

August 31, 2010


Barack Obama
at a high school recital
packed auditorium
he speaks fluently
from a wood podium

students in tutus
flutter excitedly on stage
they ask Obama
to join them in their new
exercise-ballet routine

he quite quickly learns
the choreography
from the all girl group
his moves not quite graceful
his legs revealing tension

[three tanka on a dream of 8-30-10. I felt like I had a grip on this dream as I was writing the dreamku but now I’m not so sure. I’m beginning to think it’s about staying in “learner’s mind,” if you will. And coping with my inevitable perfectionism. Also, some urging here to exercise, in whatever way I can. Exercise is actually “center stage” of this dream. Image by Roswila]

* * * *

‘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 blogs: ROSWILA’S TAROT GALLERY & JOURNAL and ROSWILA’S TAIGA TAROT, and Yahoo DREAMJIN: Group for Dreamku – Haiku-Like Dream Poems ****