Dreams

My nights’ dreams disappear like vapour,
Through a skylight, in my mind,
Dreams beyond the years,
Floating with the stars,
Gentle dreams, rainbows, colouring my nights,
Misty shadows, seen in a fog,
Velvet curtains, partly open, erotic phantasms,
Astride the bucking horse of sex,
Planes of sensual interrogation,
Butterflies, fluttering within oneself,
Whirling, dancing, dream to dream,
Shadows, merging into morning,
Gentle, rainbows, misty, velvet,
Dreams, I...

Forget.

Nightmares, wake me suddenly, with a start,
Pained, sweat-soaked sleep,
Dragged back from fires,
Abysses, pits of despair,
Falling down, around, down, screaming,
That never opened parachute,
That forever-crashing car,
Ripping flesh and cracking bone,
Arms, hands, fingers, clutching my throat,
Gasping, oh to see the face,
The face, hidden face, of dark fantasy,
Awoken by the last breath of choking death,
Awake, to wait the dawn,
Nightmares, I...        

Remember.




This poem states very simply that dreams fade away, whereas nightmares stay with us a little longer. And the two stanzas are just contrasting lists of the two types. For me, the interesting thing about the way this poem came into being, is that it started life as two poems. The germ of the second stanza was written many years before the softer flow of the first. I put it to one side, but I never forgot it (of course) and when I was writing about my dreams, it demanded to get in on the action. Through rewrites and edits, I tried really hard to get the balance right, but of course the nightmares leave the deeper impression on the reader. I think it works though, for all that.

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