Thursday, September 10, 2009

Leaving Dreams

These nights, rising softly from my solid bed,

I leave you to your even rise and fall

and pillowed burrowing in dreams

to follow the moon’s long reach

that gleams along the grass and mutes

the nighttime feel of cool dew crushing underfoot.

In the moongold glow, small creatures

sleek as seals swim across the dampened field,

startled from their peace by one that steals into their world.

They run, these families of skittish mice,

to hide among the garden vines, deciding

here or there to test a bite, and leaving ruined fruit

as if it has no use to them at all.

These nights, when I trade my solid bed

and the solid rise and fall of breath for cloudless skies,

I push into the moonshine meadow light, stealing

to the edges of the woods, searching

here and there for fruits to test,

and discarding pillowed dreams

as if they have no use to me at all.


  1. Karen - I was with you all the way. Following in my bare feet, feeling the cool dew between my toes.
    What a lovely adventure into the quiet of the night. I'd gladly leave my pillowed dreams for the taste of the woods at that peaceful hour.

  2. I loved to take lonely strolls at midnight. Though I didn't have such welcoming surrounding, but I found great peace in the dark silence. It feels so good to be alone, in silence, in peace... just for a few minutes.

  3. Karen, I think this is my favorite poem of yours yet. You had me right there half asleep, trailing along behind you, careful to step in your footprints so as not to disturb your dewy moonlight. This is perfect, just perfect. Blessings, poet-friend!!

  4. This is amazing, Karen. I agree, one of your best.
    Love how you intertwine nature with emotions.

    You are so good at that!
    enjoy your weekend~

  5. Wow, that's a journey! And such a sensuous ending. Gorgeous!

  6. Oh. My. How I love this poem, Karen. I hardly know where to begin, but I'll try not to write an endless speech (she says with a sheepish smile). What hits me first is the form. The voice. The wonderful rhythm. Those lines roll so smoothly on my "mental tongue," and I feel like I'm floating when I read it. The first two lines are awesome, and they are representative of the entire piece...the even rise and fall of the rhythm. The repetition of the beginning of lines is powerful and not overdone. It is gentle and hypnotic and so very beautiful.

    Just one example of the rhythm is seen in these lines:

    "These nights, when I trade my solid bed
    and the solid rise and fall of breath for cloudless skies,". Oh. My. How wonderful.

    I also love the music in the lines, which is the signature of your work. And, of course, I love what the poem means to me. Have you ever read a poem that has such beautiful language you don't really care what it means? This one has much meaning and makes it even more powerful. Excellent, my friend.

  7. This is very fine writing & it's certainly one of your best if not your best; the cadences & rhythms are beautifully handled & constantly move the poem forward--not insistently, but at a sort of "andante" (walking) pace. Really like this.

  8. this is so beautiful. i love peaceful walks such as these. sometimes the night has some wonderful things to explore that day can't give us. hope all is well. have a great day.

  9. The beauty of this was palpable. I'm left stunned. And wanting to experience that walk.

  10. has everyone said beautiful? it is. ethereal but familiar - i love "small creatures / sleek as seals" and "push into the moonshine meadow light" - it feels languid and liquid and like these feet aren't quite touching the ground. and the mice/fruit becoming a parallel is perfect.

  11. Your communion with the small creatures sleek as seals reminded me of Burns' poem on his encounter with one of them.

    Wee, sleekit, cowrin, tim'rous beastie,
    O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
    Thou need na start awa sae hasty
    Wi bickering brattle!
    I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
    Wi' murdering pattle.

    I'm truly sorry man's dominion
    Has broken Nature's social union,
    An' justifies that ill opinion
    Which makes thee startle
    At me, thy poor, earth born companion
    An' fellow mortal!

  12. I was sidetracked from my original intention on checking your site by your new poem. I stopped by to say that I came across your comments on jauquin's and julie's sites, about visuals. I always look forward to the picture you choose to accompany your text and think they add another layer to your meaning. I'd be sad to see them go.


  13. Margaret - Thanks for going along for the walk this night! It's a magical time and place, for certain.

    Aniket - I believe everyone needs a little silence. I crave it, myself. The monks may have had the right idea? :-D

    Marion - Thank you for your kind words. I am happy you were with me on these nighttime wanderings.

    Calli - I thank you for your comment. My poems that do address nature and its effects on my spirit are closest to my heart.

    Cat - Thank you. I'm glad you stopped by. It seems that you've been occupied with many things of late, so I appreciate your taking the time.

    Julie - I don't know what to say. Honestly. Thank you seems inadequate; anything else seems superfluous. So, from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for being one of the primary reasons I've had the courage to expand my reach. I don't even know you, but you play a huge role in my development as a writer. Inadequate, but --thank you.

  14. John - any positive comment on sound coming from such an accomplished musician and poet as you is indeed a welcome word. Thank you. ("Andante" is a new term for non-musical me; thanks for that, too.)

    Michelle - Thank you! You are right about the night, but it's amazing how a change in perspective can change the night from a welcome friend to a frightening entity, a feeling that doesn't seem to accompany the daylight. Fortunately, the night of this poem beckons.

    Jason - I consider this high praise from you, indeeed. Thank you.

    joaquin, my other inspiration! If you read the comment I made to Jules, you can ditto it for you. Every week I wait for your Thursday poem because I know I'm going to fall in love with words all over again. You've given me the courage to rhyme shamelessy! In the free verse and prose poetry world, that's a huge gift you've given me. Thank you for your comments and your gift.

    Mairi - Better a mouse than a louse, although as an elementary school teacher, I've communed with enough of them, too! LOL I do love Burns, though, perhaps because his poetry reflects the simple ways of the Appalachian people, who are primarily of Scots-Irish ancestry.

    Thanks for the vote for the pictures. I have been tempted to use home-grown photos, but somehow that feels a little too invasive to me. I would really like to think that some of the poems could stand alone. That's a test of sorts, I think. Thanks for your comments.

  15. Oh, this is sweet. I love the mouse imagery. We have quite a colony of mice in the back yard here, and I love watching them burrow through the grass and around.

  16. The poem is full to tasty delightful words. To me it was as if you had an out of body experience, leaving the body to rest as your spirit walks out into the world of the night. Good stuff.

  17. Lovely image and unbelievably good poem - the first six lines especially had me in their grasp,and no mistake! Top job!

  18. Beautifully written, you are truly talented!
    Your blog name attracted me, mine is "Secret Story Time" Please visit, if you like we can place each other on out blog rolls!

    Thanks, Secretia Teller

  19. Hello, Rachel - We have little field mice that live among the moles, the chipmunks, the squirrels, and many other little raiders of gardens. I feel myself to be so fortunate to share this earth with such creatures.

    Quackster - Welcome! There is an other-worldly feel to this, shucking off the cares of the world to roam among this nighttime. Thank you for visiting and for your comment.

    Dave - Thank you! I always appreciate your comments.

    Secretia - Thank you for visiting and commenting. I am not really very mysterious - just a keeper of counsel. The better part of valor?

  20. Ah, by your side, feeling, sharing, being the night along with you. This night of "discarding pillowed dreams" so poignantly known by your captivating descriptive. Indeed the magnetic attraction, "to follow the moon’s long reach." Thank you ever so much for this night unveiled.

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  22. This is top notch. Wonderfully so. It is more than lovely with the twists I have come to love about your writing

  23. I'm with Julie Buff on the structure and rhythm of this poem. My first visit to your place, and glad I came. I'm looking for poets, new to blogoland, posting poems of my own. I'll be back. Visit me if you have the time.

  24. Karen-This was so clever and delicate. Something lifted from Alice in Wonderland. lovely to ponder the possibilities. Excellent. ~rick

  25. the notion of testing "a bite, and leaving ruined fruit

    as if it has no use to them at all. "

    --just so opulent , even decadent.
    And the leaving of pillowed dreams for the scurrying of the night, so adventurous, and a little daring perhaps. The fantastic elements of a Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Nicely done.

  26. Rose Marie - Thank you for taking this moonlight wander with me.

    Linda - Thank you for your comments and for continuing to visit me here.

    Chris - Welcome! I'm so happy to meet you, especially since I found such great poetry at your place. Do come back!

    Rick - Thanks so much! This particular nighttime world is a little otherworldly. Thanks for visiting.

    Cagey - What a wonderful comment! Thank you so much. Ooh, decadent? I love it!

  27. Wonderful, Karen! Each line is an unfolding of beauty and mysteries, much like the night and the dreams are...

  28. I adore this. The rhythm moves me as if I'm on that moonbeam with you in dreamland. Ahh!

  29. I enjoyed every word and line of this poem. And admired the repetition of the fruit being "of no use to (them or) me at all". Very effective. Great writing!

  30. Yes, that "of not use to them at all" very nice. You colored in all the pieces. Thanks

  31. I'm glad I happened upon this poem today - it was worth the journey...