“There are some who dream, some who realize those dreams, and some who never wake from dreaming.” ~Theodicus
The very first poem I ever wrote was about dreams, how they were the subconscious’ way of identifying the inefficiencies in ourselves and giving us notice. Of course, we don’t always remember our dreams so sometimes it is wasted effort. It was a simplistic poem, based as it was on something that cannot be measured, and the form was four-line stanzas that rhymed in turn.
But it was my first. You always remember your first, right?
The most recent poem I wrote was about Catholic constrictions, how the church isn’t catering to its new constituents, instead choosing to lean on form and ancient religious constructs beyond all measure. It had no rhyme scheme, although every once in a while a natural sort of rhyme appeared from thin air. That’s my favorite kind anymore, although some can write entire poems without it sounding forced. I am not those people. But I am content with who I am and the words that flow through me.
Then last night I was at a poetry reading and I’ve taken to sharing a piece of prose before my second round of poems. The one I shared last night was very well received, and I was hard pressed to figure out why. It’s because I talked about love — lost love — but a love that was fresh at the time and so full of promise. That’s what we connect with, and it’s why love poetry is still all the rage even in our society that promises flammable marriages and quickie divorces.
So, on the spur of the moment, I shared a poem called “Breathe Me” after my bit of prose, not willing to lose the connection I had forged through common experience and sympathy. And it resonated, the idea that we are two souls fighting for a place in a crowded world full of desperate souls, and that’s what solidifies love — not how we choose, or even who we choose — whether or not we are desperate enough to give the other soul a chance. It’s a heartbreaking poem with a hopeful ending. Which is all I can give, you know?
And I dreamed last night. I dreamed of the silence in my own head when I was up there ready to start, that moment stretching out forever, a companionable feeling that didn’t feel empty in the least. I dreamed of the noise of dozens of hands clapping interspersed with the clinking of silverware on china, a sort of ritualistic providence, an assurance that my words were not in vain.
But I can’t help but look back to that first poem, even though by now I’ve realized how futile it is to try and capture the essence of dreams, if not for solace at least for a baseline. It’s where I started from, and even though I would never share it with another person now, I recognize it as my younger self crying out for an acceptance that took an eternity in coming, but one that is so sweet now.
And it’s no longer lost in dreams. Because I’m tired of sleeping.