“Cat’s Dream” by Pablo Neruda

How neatly a cat sleeps,
sleeps with its paws and its posture,
sleeps with its wicked claws,
and with its unfeeling blood,
sleeps with all the rings
a series of burnt circles–
which have formed the odd geology
of its sand-colored tail.

I should like to sleep like a cat,
with all the fur of time,
with a tongue rough as flint,
with the dry sex of fire;
and after speaking to no one,
stretch myself over the world,
over roofs and landscapes,
with a passionate desire
to hunt the rats in my dreams.

I have seen how the cat asleep
would undulate, how the night
flowed through it like dark water;
and at times, it was going to fall
or possibly plunge into
the bare deserted snowdrifts.
Sometimes it grew so much in sleep
like a tiger’s great-grandfather,
and would leap in the darkness over
rooftops, clouds and volcanoes.

Sleep, sleep cat of the night,
with episcopal ceremony
and your stone-carved moustache.
Take care of all our dreams;
control the obscurity
of our slumbering prowess
with your relentless heart
and the great ruff of your tail.

Pablo Neruda

Photo of my cat “Chet Baker” by L.K. Thayer

© 2011

“The Changeling” by Arthur Coleman

 

A hawk talks in whispers to her in her sleep.
I arrive to shoo away the devil so that I
may be left alone to enter her through her
skin of gaping ears to thrill at the magic spells
I have composed in books committed to memory.
The bird flies through the wall of the room
and alights at the stone edge of a fountain.
There in the moonlight that has slipped past
the leaves of the overhead bower he musingly
regards larvae flipping about the stagnant water;
dips his beak to grab one and fly off with it
squirming his dry avian tongue; spits it out
and lets it drop when in midair he realizes
that it might be a parasite and his constitution
does not abide those. The larva plummets
with a deadening thud and a liquid shudder
from the surface through the pool. She says:
“Your presence is blinding.” I am captivated
by you. I give my hand in faith it will be returned
fortified and masculine. Guide me through
the dells of dream, training grounds for moving
in awareness only of the calls of birds and winds.

Arthur Coleman

© 2010

“LA Times” by L. K. Thayer

there are times in LA

when I’ve wanted to leave it

leave the sun

for a bit of reality

but it’s got a hold on me

at times shaking

begging me to give it

one more chance

not to abandon the dreams

the promise

like a romance novel

or an obsession

you can’t let go of

you can’t put it down

you want to see

what happens

at the end

and find out

who gets

the girl

Photo by L. K. Thayer

© 2010

“He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” by Yeats

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

-William Butler Yeats

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

All Rights Reserved

© 2009

“The Beast And The Dreamer” by Jack Grapes

There is a beast
in the bed with you.
You’d rather pretend
it’s the dream
or the overcoat
you forgot to hang up
or that person
you share space with
on the sheets.
When you roll into him
during the night
and his teeth fly up
to the ceiling,
you hold still,
listen for a sound
to explain it,
look for the book
you fell asleep reading,
then roll back over,
and the beast settles
down again beside you
like a black balloon.

I know about this beast.
He does not sleep
and he does not dream.
To himself, if asked,
he is more a beast,
knows his ugliness
to become more ugly.
Swamps dry up in his mouth.
The death of ships
under the ocean
slide in slime on his skin.
His arms are the broken
bones of asteroids,
his eyes
the open ass of Krakatoa.

And though he’s never died,
his death is all he truly remembers.
Condemned to the light within the dark of sleep,
he is not permitted his own,
but puts one arm
behind his head
and thinks through the night
with you,
avoiding the beast of thoughts.
He lies beside you,
envious of your slow breathing,
wishing your dreams
were his to dream,
wanting just one
of your nightmares
to wake from.

Jack Grapes
All Rights Reserved

© 1995

“American Idol” by Vicki Batkin

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

My rock goddess will never die
I see her flying into dense fog
Just to make the show.

She’s footloose and fancy-free
With a hint of Tabasco
And she will take no prisoners.

She prances around with greatness
While her followers trail behind
Blinded by her scent

She is my secret pal
And my one true song.

Yes, my one true song.
Shhh…I wrote the lyrics.

Vicki Batkin

All Rights Reserved

© 2009

“ROSCOE’S DREAMS” by Bill Duke

https://i2.wp.com/www.celebrityloop.com/assets/www.officialbillduke.com/gallery/social%20studies/7425.7425.billduke_links_th1.jpg

ROSCOE LAID IN BED WITH HIS SHOES ON
LOOKING FOR SOMETHING NEW TO THINK ABOUT
HIS WOMAN LEFT HIM SIX WEEKS AGO
AND SINCE THAT TIME
THE EMPTINESS OF THE HOUSE
BARED UPON HIS PASSIONS
OH, HE WAS NOT A LOSER
COULDN’T TAKE THE SMILE FROM HIS FACE
COULDN’T TAKE THE WHISKEY BREATH AWAY
COULDN’T DO ANYTHING HE DIDN’T WANT YOU TO DO TO HIM NOHOW
BUT
HE WAS IN PAIN

LYING THERE
WITH HER PICTURE IN HIS HAND
NEVER KNEW
LOVE COULD HURT SO
NEVER KNEW
LOVE EVEN EXISTED
PAST
THE SCREECH OF BEDSPRINGS
AND SWEAT SOAKING THROUGH
SHEETS
TO MATTRESS FOAM

SHE’S GONE
SHE’S GONE
ONLY HER SCENT ON THINGS
RUNNING HIS FINGER ACROSS HER PICTURE
HER TOO FULL LIPS
AND UP TO THE SHAMPOO SCENT
OF HER OILED HAIR
HE TURNS HER FACE
TOWARD THE LIGHT
THAT SHINES
THRU ALL HIS SEAMS
FALLING INTO DARKNESS ROSCOE DREAMS

BILL DUKE

“Men Like Me” by Bill Duke

All Rights Reserved

© 2009

“Lobsters In My Closet” by Vicki Batkin

Photo by Alexis Rhone Fancher

A child in her arms.
Amazing Grace.

I could never understand time.
Constantly looking for reasons
Why it feels so slow
And yet goes by so fast.

So much can happen in just one day
Moments feel like a string of pearls

Some go on forever
There is beauty in that as well

I can’t find humor today
And I only have 18 lines.

My dreams…loud lately
My days heavy
And
My thoughts stuck in the past
Stuck in the pain
Stuck in the sand

But maybe not stuck at all

Old habits mask as thoughts
Forcing the mind to believe
But
It’s not true

They make you think
It’s all real
But it’s not

And
If my suit of armor is on just right
They will ricochet
And right there

I will see beautiful veins
And bloodshot eyes.

Have I mentioned
There are lobsters in my closet?
They’ve been there
Since I was a kid
But
When I checked this morning
There were only 2

Vicki Batkin

(Brandon Lee Bjornson’s mother)

All Rights Reserved

© 2007

“When You Wake Up” by L. K. Thayer

Photo by VC Ferry

Photo by VC Ferry

you wake up
and you go to
the office
or wherever
you’re s’pose to be
and
you punch the

time clock
and it
punches you back

and
you work all day
to beat

the traffic
and it beats
you up

instead
and you wonder
about your dreams
and where’s your slice
of paradise
and what happened
to your youth

and the kids are

all grown
and some are
moving back

and you wonder
what you’re gonna be

when you grow up
and you

hope
it’s not

too late
for

that

L. K. Thayer

All Rights Reserved

© 2009