Haiku #684


Undergound, ants dream.
Frost on the heath, and some snow.
Through winter we sleep.

Night Owl

Thank you for your photograph,
Passport-sized, white frame,
On the reverse side in red ink
You wrote your name and
Number. The image I received
On the spine of a silently
Howling owl in a dream
Last night I placed beneath
My pillow and in a dream
Within a dream you emerged
From the portrait large as life,
Your lipstick as red as the ink,
A deep red, deep as blood in
The whales stampeding through
The caves of my sleep searching
For their calves already hauled
Onto the harpoon-stationed
Entrail-made slippery deck
Of hail-harried vessels in
The steep Pacific breaches.

You gestured to me not to speak,
Finger over your lips and I was
Transfixed. I watched you
Carefully, devotedly, as you fell
Asleep in a red dress, your blonde
Hair falling over your eyelids and
Your nostrils and I reached to
Brush those beautiful strands away
When your mouth opened and
An alarm fell out and I woke
Sweating, and drowning, as
A refuse collection vehicle
Reversed outside my apartment.


Decanting on the shores of sleep,
Where dreaming estuaries will weep,
Perilous cliff-top climbs are steep,
Sounds across a border seep.

I found a strange sensation brew,
Stranger than the crossing’s crew,
A second breathing bridged the two:
Inhale once, exhaling due.

Inveigling spirit, a bellow between
What is dreamt and what is seen,
Organist pedalling lungs for a dean,
Cathedrals where I have not been.

Apparitions line the coasts
To sing in chorus for their hosts
And keep witheld communion ghosts,
My bark is tethered to their posts.

The Wishing Well

In a dream last night,
A recalcitrant dream
As well-versed and equally
Inured as unwelcome spells
Residing in my sleeping mind
Lay siege, unwarranted,
Disobedient to my intent
Which once was good,
And ever since mind’s
Potentates were themselves
Besieged by
Terracotta armies
Running riot, and
Separated from the
Periodic Table by mandate
Of the God of Chemistry,
In this dream,
All my teeth fell out.

Curious affliction,
The disease descended directly
Down a medieval well
Just beyond the village
Where Time’s bypass
Hastened the demise
Of daffodils and spinach.
The teeth were caught
By grateful elvish hands
Like wishes from a
Comet’s tail,
Those who lived
In the dark dank smells
Of that thankless well
Through so many of our songs,
No longer could they tell
Where their fingernails
And lunulae began.
Their galoshes squelched
Through residual pools,
Mulchy, muddy pools more
Made of weeds and the
Casual detritus of
Passers-by whose care
For Nature
Believing it was sufficient
To save endangered species
By recycling plastic and
Subscribing to
Magazines about wildlife.
Even dinosaurs dreamed
Of losing their teeth,
So these subterranean beings
Chiseled and whittled the
Mouldy molars into
Newfangled fangs
Which now adorn
Their necklaces,
Next to reindeer hooves
And my unending sense
Of sadness.

Back above-ground, my brother
Held a tablet device
And stylus to count my losses.
He used a spreadsheet and
An esoteric formula.
I had a stylus too but
Mine had been used as a knife
And was stained with butter.
I didn’t own a tablet
So I tapped inconsequentially,
Feigning importance
On a well-used notepad.

The well is near the woods
Of my dreams, and that is where
My brother was last seen
Before he disappeared,
Where nothing good is as it seems,
And who needs teeth
When there is nothing to eat
In my dreams, there are no
Roadhouses and the motorways
Are closed, no truck-stop cafés,
Yet still I drive with my words
Through lucid, deciduous
Anxieties of my
There’s good reason
As to why I cannot find
The rainbow’s end
No matter how far I must drive,
For you cannot see the prisms
Of sunlight and rain
When your sleeping persona
Wakes down a deep well.