Thursday, December 22, 2005

Dream fever XIII

I found your severed head
laid out like a valued jewel
in a small hardwood box
padded inside with soft velvet
the same shade of sea green
as your surprising eyes
beneath a spare bed
in a guest room
of a large house that
did not feel like mine.
The expression
on your face
was a frozen moment,
almost quizzical;
eyes open
still
catching the light
as if you were somehow alive
one perfect eyebrow
arched slightly
lips parted
in the equivocal beginnings
of a sardonic statement
or a sensual smile.
Your long dark hair
spread beneath you
in casual disarray
could easily have been
instead
on some sunlit
morning pillow.
I don't remember
noticing any blood
on your neck.
I felt calm
as if this accident
of discovering you
like a hidden gemstone
were the most natural thing
yet wondered at
my own troubling presence
in that unfamiliar mansion.

3 comments:

Fingers said...

I wish I had the courage to write poetry or prose about my nightmares too, Coyote. I've been told by some people to write them down, as short stories, sans twists. The courage to do that has eluded me as these nightmares haunt me passionately, in my waking life.

Anonymous said...

This wouldn't bother me quite so much if I didn't have green eyes and long dark hair! Have I done something to bug you lately?!

coyote said...

Not you, Nonny... I'll tell you the story, sometime.

And Lucy, do you remember when I told you that many of these poems were based on dreams?

Some -- especially those in the Dream Fever sequence -- started as nightmares. Which, after all, are a side of dreams -- a side of ourselves -- that we must acknowledge. We don't need to act them out, or even understand them, just realize that we're all darkness and light. From everything I can tell, you choose light, already, but that doesn't mean there's not a little dark, too... shadowing that makes the sunlight stand out all the more.

For me, writing nightmares was a way to place them outside of myself, so I could look at them rather than just react. Someone once told me that the most surprising thing about this poem was the calmness of the voice. (Someone else told me, "Funny, you don't look like an axe murderer..." But they got my motivation for writing it quite wrong.) The comment about calmness surprised me, at first. But writing about nightmares calmly was a way to deal with disturbing things. It still is...