You can’t escape mundane tasks, even in dreams.


I spend


Pulling books from my shelves

And repositioning them,

All neat enough before but not

Maximized for space

In the rows and rows

Of tall

Bookcases I own,

Dark wood lit soft

By lamps, and the glow

Of my laptop

As I watch old shows

To help pass the time.



This whole dream was like watching a movie, including the obligatory inner thoughts of “No don’t go in there…”


She starts acting strange,

Once they get in the air.

Speaking loudly, deliriously,

Trying to stand in the aisles

While turbulence is heavy.

So they put her in a small,

Locked room, keep her

Amongst the rows of goods

Where she can’t harm herself.

But like Aurora to a needle, a door

Calls, set behind the shelves,

And when she opens it she sprawls

Deliciously, across the wind-whipped

Top of the plane. The pilots panic,

Tell her to hold tight to something,

Anything she can grab, as they come in

To land on ocean –

She wakes in a hospital bed,

A darkened room where the rest

Of the passengers lie in darker beds.

Something has gone wrong with

All of them, but her, and now

They’ll all be tested to discover

Why, and what.

Stones and Rain

When you try to add on to your rock collection in dreams.


It’s raining today in dark

Torrents, heavy enough our professor

Has texted he might not come.

We pray for the respite, though we’re all

Already there, but he arrives

Anyway, dripping, and telling us

His tiny white dog, Buck,

Had a hard time wandering the flooded yard.

The class is a disorganized mess

Of social media gossip and lack of focus,

So we break and I wade down to the ocean,

Pull chunks of rose quartz and

Malachite from the beach.

When I bring the stones back to show,

They’ve become polished eggs

Of tiger’s eye and citrine, not

What I’d hoped to keep.


I could see this happening in real life, but I don’t think my real-life fiancee would be as okay with it.


She’s a beautiful golden retriever,

Nine years old but not graying,

Her coat soft and tail wagging, so

I agree to adopt her on the spot,

Take her home to find

She can become a person, and talk.

She’s everything I find uncomfortable

In people, pretty to excess and

Snarky, and as we stand

Awkwardly around the bed

I realize that if I keep her here,

My fiancee and I will never be only us

Again, never be able to talk

Or watch a movie, or bake

Without her commenting, and disrupting us.

Still, I can’t bring myself

To take her back, drive out to the store

With a black-haired boy

I decide also to adopt along the way.

I send him to buy groceries while I

Head across the street for collars, dog food,

And leashes, call my fiancee’s cell

To tell her we now have a dog, and a son.

Paths and Tides

Every now and again I have to watch my step in dreams.


We follow the shoreline,

Right beside the water.

It’s beach, mostly, but the far half is

Squishiness, almost mattress-like.

My companions won’t risk

Stepping on it, even when the tide

Rises high enough to slide over

The hardness of the packed sand,

Their ankles and calves sinking

In froths of waves. I dare to cross,

Half-bounce in a run until I reach

The overpass at the other side.

Change of Plans

Even dreams have rain delays.


We planned to go for a walk, but

When we arrive to the place where

Walkers on this campus meet,

The rain has picked up force,

And we are told the paths are closed.

I think the new suggestion is

To play games of basketball,

Spend a good few minutes telling

Everyone who’ll hear that I hate sports;

But the suggestion is, it turns out,

To study for biology –

A class my fiancee and all my friends

Are taking, but I am not.

I leave them to their textbooks,

Find a market nearby

And wander the aisles of sandwiches

And smoothie counters

Until the hour is up.


Sometimes real life makes its way into even my crazier dreams.


I find the owl

I thought I heard yesterday,

Perched in a tree

With a nest of eggs.

She’s large, tuft-eared

And gorgeous,

And just as I think

I’ve never seen an owl like this

So close, I turn to see

Another, smaller and more

Expressive, and another

Beyond that,

Until the trees are filled

With owls of every size.