Opening to Poetry


Dreams rarely incorporate stimuli from the sleeper’s immediate environment…

Yet ever so often, a dream does seem to absorb information coming in from outside.

In a recent dream…

I’m in a peaceful, isolated, rural location.  No one else is around.

I enter a railway car that has a long row of “portholes” recessed into its ceiling.

I hear a woman’s voice intone the soft lines of a poem.  I climb a ladder to begin opening the portholes.  The poem continues as I move my hand over the glass surface of the first porthole.

Before having that dream, I’d woken in the early morning and remained awake for several minutes.  To help ease myself back into sleep, I put on the headphones and began listening to a poetry CD.

The poetry of At Blackwater Pond, by Mary Oliver, is both gentle and blunt, refined and earthy—sublimely animistic.  This recording has gently drifted me into sleep on several occasions.

This time, my dream world apparently incorporated the spoken poetry.  That would seem natural.  However, since it’s only happened once…

…I believe the dream used the poetry purely as a symbol—

—a symbol I felt no pressure to understand.  After all, there’s no problem in this dream—this is dream of peace.  Unlike so many of my other dreams, this dream tells me that I’m on the right path.


About Michael Patton

I am a poet, novelist, and fabulist...A new mythologist, a peace miller, a dream worker...I don't qualify as an illustrator or photographer--I just "make pictures"...I have thirteen books available at amazon... I currently reside in northwest Arkansas, but have lived and worked all over the United States... I'm self-taught, for the most part--which is like searching for the right door in the dark. It's an on-going process.... I don't want to write MY story, I want OUR story, so that's what I'm studying: the human story: past, present, future, in its many aspects--including the spiritual. I'm proceeding at a slow crawl.... I don't see the inner world and outer world as separate. By learning about myself, I learn about others, I learn about my world.... Conversely, as I struggle to understand what I see OUT THERE, I learn about myself.... But to be clear: I don't claim any special understanding. I'm still purblind, still only half-awake.... After frustrating experience with the publisher of my first novel, I've published on my own, beginning with e-books, with plans to move into print and audio. Even video.... Along with a second novel, I've now published eight books of poetry. Each poetry book focuses on a theme. For instance, the collection GLORIOUS TEDIOUS TRANSFORMATION is about the slow difficult wonderful process of change.... In that book, as with all my work, I try to be accessible to a general audience, while also striving to achieve a certain literary quality.
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