Because epic battles aren’t just for when you’re awake.


I’ve been setting birds free

And listening to their songs in the wood,

So I know when she is coming,

And how destructive she will be.

I’m influential enough, in this kingdom,

Not to have trouble gathering our queen and armies

Onto the battlefield, a stretch of blank snow

Ringed by trees and shrubs, beyond which

Is the land proper, that we will fight for.

In the prophecy it states that I will be able to win

With the help of one of our ancient, caged gods;

So I call for our best archer to fire the white spear

Hard into the earth, where it transforms

Into the prison, and the god himself inside.

The god says the way to free him

Is to solve the riddle inscribed in the metal –

But the words are so obscure, I suspect they form

A wordplay that only the ancients could decipher.

I tell my friends I’ll just do it myself,

Take up my own black-hilted short sword

Despite their protests, and move to meet

Our enemy, alone.

She is a darker version of me,

As if my hair and eyes had been dipped in ink,

My features rearranged to be coldly beautiful.

When she arrives she appears to surrender,

And our queen accepts, allowing

Her men to mingle at the edge of our forces.

But I watch the woman while our queen speaks,

And I see the signals she gives to her soldiers,

And I notice their dwindling numbers, as they slip

Away to start attacking the land beyond us.

I use a trick of my sword to disable

The remaining dark soldiers with one strike,

And bring the blade to her throat to meet

The sparks of her own weapon against mine.

In the end I win,

But of course, several of her men

Are still out there, pillaging and becoming

Monstrous beasts, so a new story begins to unfold –

One in which I slip away

From my kind foster family here,

And join the band of light heroes to fight

The last of the evil in the land, before dinner.




Zombies Again

It’s really not even surprising to me anymore when I have a zombie dream.


The bodies litter the ground outside

And floor in here –

Dead, mixed with once-undead-and-now-


They have to pile them on top of

One another,

The stretchers unable to hold enough

To save us from

The sight of broken limbs and staring eyes,


I hold a baby in my arms, my turn

To watch him –

Already a zombie, but so young, we can


Control him, until we might find a cure.

But he’s rowdy

Today, constantly lunging at my face to bite

And then mellowing,

My strength eaten up with forcing his

Undead strength

To back away. I yell for my family and friends

To help, but

They don’t listen until it’s far too late –

I’m bit, on the neck.

I know that they need to kill me, because if

They don’t,

I will quickly work with baby to bite through

Every last one of them.

Unless, of course, they are all already zombies.

I watch, dismayed,

As they all choose the latter – injecting themselves

With zombie venom

So they can join me, without my ravaging teeth

Bringing them over.


Lost Message

Still have tattoos on my mind, apparently.


I’ve received most of a beautiful

Chest tattoo, a scene which forms

A secret message to certain people

Who will help me, in this dangerous

Society. But the artist has gone senile

In between sessions, and never told me

What, exactly, I am now broadcasting

To the world – or who that answers

I can trust.

Three Angels and Luke Skywalk Into a Bar

Except there isn’t a bar. Probably one of the weirdest dreams I’ve had to date.


They look just the way you’d expect them to –

Michael, Gabriel, and Raphael, with muscles

And wings, but today they hitch a ride on a ship

Piloted by Luke Skywalker, the four of them,

Apparently, traveling to the same place.

On the way Luke finds he needs a bathroom,

But the streets nearby are all residential, so

The three angels, being divine, just watch

From trees as he breaks into the closest home,

Crashing a child’s tea party and generally causing

Mayhem until he’s relieved himself, and escapes.

The father and mother shake fists at the angels

As they all flee, and Michael takes note that

They must really be in bad shape, Heaven’s finest,

If people don’t even recognize who or what they are.

It turns out Luke isn’t the best at flying through

Narrow and twisting Earth streets, nearly hitting

A strolling couple before finally taking off

Into the sky, the sudden burst of speed slamming

All three angels hard into their seats – but at least

They’re back on the road, with minimal casualties.


My makeup skills are better in dreams than I think they ever will be in life.


I never wear lipstick, but I’ve been

Meaning to get some, for those rare times

When I feel I should. So while the boy at the counter

In front of me talks to the boy behind it

About a gift to get for the pretty girl upstairs,

I pull a glittering shade of rose red

From the tray beside the register, and do my best

To apply it the way I’ve seen people do before.

It looks better than anticipated, and I ask

The boy at the register, when he’s free, whether he

Thinks it’s worth buying. He rings it up for me,

But asks, before I leave, whether I think

The boy before will have any luck, with that pretty

Girl upstairs. I tell him I think he will, and he looks

At me as if he expected that, being a lipstick-wearer,

I would say no.

Travel Motives

The only European country I’ve ever been in is Spain, so please forgive any geographical liberties my brain may have taken.


As the bus passes fields and mountains

And trees with twisted limbs, I wonder

If it makes a difference that I came here

To Germany not to sightsee or to learn

Historic facts, but to find inspiration for

My next tattoo.

Magic Classes

Somewhat of a looser format than Hogwarts. Also I have no idea what people learn in these.


We arrive late, drive up the long,

Winding path through the woods

To find a bustle of soon-to be magical

Students, already chatting with groundskeepers

And teachers, choosing which mentors

To take classes with. Every professor

Is claimed nearly all today and the next,

Small flags of appointments stuck up

Like hedgehogs behind their names.

The wizard who drove me here tells me

I should pick him, but I show him

He has no free time. He pushes me toward

The appointment table anyway, saying

That doesn’t matter – he’ll find space.