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The dialect of dream


'As when a man goes so deep into his dream
he will never remember that he was there.'
Tomas Transtromer, translated by Robert Bly

Enough will be there
if you can learn the language

of fragments
fathom and translate
the dialect of dream
be untroubled
that such meanings
can never be exactly
what they seem:

familiar faces that change
to strangers
irrational duties
fleeting bliss
hint of cruelty
precious messages
that taste like kisses.

In gaping hindsight
snatch them back
or let them dwindle
with the night.

Viva Vita

Lizard on a pyramid
newt in its stream
spider hurrying in its web
wolf howling at the moon
whale wallowing in ocean
rainforest swallowing storm
rose distilling its potion
worm in the deep loam
albatross and its shadow
rabbit in a burrow
polar bear on the floe
beetle scuttling in the furrow
sunfish floating out at sea
calculus of all it means to be.


Inside the shell the sea
has painted itself
such an accurate portrait
nacreous lustrous
swirl of currents frozen
as if knowing salt air
might one day pry you open
and offer you votively
from the swept sea floor
show off ocean's
surreal artistry
as it inhabits these
milky vortices.


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