Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Dreaming My Toes

     "We are such stuff as dreams are made on," Prospero observes in Shakespeare's The Tempest, "and our little life is rounded with a sleep." Perhaps these words were echoing somewhere in the back of my mind when I wrote the following prose poem.


     is this the dream of a dream of a dream or am I awake?    maybe I'm more awake when I dream    bit by bit I peel the Infinite Onion    each peeling fascinates    yet its only the tiniest shred of a Reality that's boundless and inexhaustible    I feel the sunlight on my back but I know the night's deepening inside me    if you're dreaming me dreaming this please wake up    or sink further into your dream to where I keep watch for you

     perhaps there are countless universes cupped within each other like nesting dolls    each is the dreamworld of the next    every word every touch matters yet differently each time    our altered heartbeats echo strangely down scintillating corridors of mirrors from dimension to dimension    we're intergalactic time travelers    half asleep half awake    a million light years divide us    but we grow so much faster than light!

     when people no longer drink thirstily from roots webbing out like subterranean antennae through the loamy sediments of their dreams they begin to sicken and die    or else go crazy    programless cyborgs crashing helplessly against the sterile walls of cyberspace    I carry my dreams in a wind-colored knapsack and take one out to wear whenever cold calculation threatens to freeze my soul    here    I brought an extra dream-coat for you


     I never wrote a poem to my toes before. But now I wonder how I could have lyrically ignored them for so long. Viva my toes!

                           MY TOES

      thank you little piggies for hanging in there all these years    forgive me if I've ever taken you for granted as I know I have    you line up so alertly by size places    flex so eagerly as if trying to grip the earth    wherever I go you thrust right out in front    even willing to be stubbed just to get there first    remember that warehouse job when both big toenails were crushed?    they turned black and finally fell off    you guys are my heroes!

     I think of all the times I stepped on a land mine    blundered into a quicksand bog    or recklessly waltzed where Angels fear to tread    yet you never complained    never cringed in abject surrender    never begged to be let off the hook    no matter how rough the going or how long the march you always showed up and did your best    with ten more friends like you I'd be king of the world!

     not only that    you were my earliest playmates:    this little piggy went to market    this little piggy stayed home    this little piggy had roast beef    this little piggy had none    and this little piggy...went "wee wee wee" all the way home!    look    you can still wriggle and splay and I realize that's how you laugh    one thing's for sure -- whenever my toes curl I'm in heaven!    we've been loyal buddies for a lifetime and even death won't part us


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