Red Wolf Editions Fall 2021 Issue 19: My Dream of You

Red Wolf Editions Fall 2021
Theme: My Dream of You

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I came upon her on a full moon, her breath coming and going as she laid in the sand. She had been playing her mandolin before falling asleep, a jug of water on hand. I tried to put a paw on her—she sleeps lightly as a feather does she—but she merely shifted her weight and slept more deeply.

Oh yes, Shakespeare did say, “Perchance to sleep, to dream.” In Henri Rosseau’s The Sleeping Gypsy, a lion comes into the woman’s dream. It does not attack her. I have myself dreamt of wild animals, like tigers and elephants and hippopotamuses. They come at me often in water, a figment of the imagination invoking fear, and then they do not attack. Often dreams are surreal and only make sense within the dream itself. While one dreams one believes. When one awakes, it’s utterly unreal. Often the dream mines the unconscious, of our fears and longings.

In the painting Rosseau depicts the woman’s dream. But is he in fact the dreamer, creating the art we see? It’s all in his mind’s eye isn’t it? So it is for those who write. Haruki Murakami said “writing itself is like dreaming. When I write, I can dream intentionally”. But unlike a dream which poofs into nothing on awakening, the writer can continue the dream by continuing to write the story, or making up a new story. A dream is exactly like a story.

Dreams are like portals to another world. That’s how the surrealism presents in Murakami’s stories but not as a literal dreaming but what’s happening feels all real. His characters enters a portal, in the form of a well (The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle) or an underground subway route (IQ84) and so on. “So, in my stories, if you go down to the bottom of the well, there’s another world. And you can’t necessarily tell the difference between this side and the other side.” His characters typically learn some difficult truths after coming back to this side.

The plot device of other parallel universes is evident in stories like in the Harry Potter stories or The Chronicles of Narnia. So it is that poems, as stories, may also function as portals to other worlds, the point of which is an attempt to uncover the mysteries of humanity. It triggers an awakening. One transcends time and space when one steps into stories. And doesn’t one bring something back afterward? In writing and reading, as in dreaming, we ourselves are immersed in a different time and space, in a completely different narrative. We are imagining other worlds.

I want to ask you, what is this dream, this imagining, about which you as a poet writes? Is it a longing? Is it a dream of you? Who is this you? Answer me that. A loved one, a ghost? Even if the you is not named, is often amorphous, a relationship is being set up. Is it a loss of something, someone, and a desire, a dream to recover it, or the connection, in a poem? I think it is often about that too. Is it a dream of some better future, some better self? Like in this poem by Langston Hughes.

Hold fast to dreams
For if dreams die
Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams
For when dreams go
Life is a barren field
Frozen with snow.

But the meaning has shifted. Dreams shift our reality. This type of dreaming is not a literal one but more symbolic? A mindset? In which case, dreams are not to be dissed, well in this sense of the word. As you imagine, imagination opens the door to dreaming, and dreaming opens the door to the imagination. A door to riches, to happiness can happen in dreams, as we shift our mindset. I was mesmerised by the ending of JD Salinger’s The Catcher In The Rye, when Holden was just watching Phoebe going round and round on a carousel. I think on a deep dreaming level, happiness happens.

I was damn near bawling, I felt so damn happy, if you want to know the truth. I don’t know why. It was just that she looked so damn nice, the way she kept going around and around, in her blue coat and all. God, I wish you could’ve been there.

Then there’s a type of dream that interests me—the one of God. Our dream of God as it were. The God that lives within our imagination.

If God exists he isn’t just
butter and good luck.
He’s also the tick that
killed my wonderful dog
Luke.
Said the river: imagine
everything you can
imagine, then keep on
going.
—Mary Oliver, “At the River Clarion”

Importantly the linchpin of our belief system gives us the meaning of our existence. I want to believe God’s dream of us, God dreaming us into being. What do you make of your own life? Do you believe the path you have been put on is not an accident but a destiny? Who put you there? Chance? God? I was watching The Last Kingdom on Netflix and was transfixed by the path of Uhtred of Bebbanburg. Born a Saxon but brought up by Danes, he was a warrior who had fought many battles in support of King Alfred of Wessex, whose dream was of England. He believes that “the truth of a man lies not in the land of his birth, but in his heart”. In his path of unpredictable twists and turns, where demands were constantly being made, he responded and acted according to his heart and a sense of calling, and concluded that “destiny is all”.

Even so we need to imagine for ourselves what we wish to do in this world, how we find ourselves to be, and change path as chance or God will have us. We do not see what is coming. We need to imagine, to keep on dreaming, to become who we are, to finally be at peace with who we are. We will dream till the cows come home. While I sleep, my dream of you has not ended.

Read our submission guidelines here. Please check back on our site to see if your poem has been selected. We will not be sending out any acceptance or rejection letters.

Submissions period: 1 March 2021 to 27 August 2021. Selected poems will be posted on this site and compiled into a PDF release in Fall 2021.

Good writing.

Irene Toh
Editor
Fall 2021 Issue

Musings of Odysseus, by John Muro

Musings of Odysseus
by John Muro

Honey locust leaves, delicate as fingers,
Draw fog through their branches in a slow
Drag of wind, and once again I dream of you
And how well you carry the burden of age
And our name, while waves quietly recede
Then return, bearing sorrow upon sorrow,
Turning minutes into days and days into
Years and steadily wearing down memory,
Though I still hunger for home and carry
You in my heart. The tides have succumbed
To darkness now and their sound and splendor
Remain another obstacle to overcome,
Pondering how I might yet return to you
And find the true purpose of this odyssey.
Today the water was as clear as the air,
And I dreamed I saw you falling to our bed
Beneath the plaintive tongues of leaves
Murmuring, in wind-rustle hush, how
Those things we cherish most in life
Often remain apart from us and how the
Weight of time helps to make the past
More bearable even as distant currents steer
Things towards new beginnings or their undoing.

A life-long resident of Connecticut, John Muro is a graduate of Trinity College, Wesleyan University and the University of Connecticut. His professional career has focused on environmental stewardship and conservation, and he has held several volunteer and executive positions in those fields. In the Lilac Hour, his first volume of poems, was published last fall by Antrim House, and it is available on Amazon. John’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Moria, Euphony, Third Wednesday, Clementine Unbound, River Heron, Freshwater and other literary journals.

Tenaya Moods Shared, by Robert Walton

Tenaya Moods Shared
by Robert Walton

Does freeze in dawn’s light,
Backlit, poised to leap away
Should sunlight strike
Amber shards
From lions’ eyes.

Jade eddies bow
Above obsidian deeps
As noontime wavelets
Roll across hot sands
Like children’s laughter

Owls drift above pines at dusk,
Their wings silent as moonlight;
Sweet sage burns yellow,
Lifting slender arms of smoke
To stars just risen.

Robert Walton is a retired middle school teacher, rock climber and mountaineer with ascents in the Sierras, Yosemite and Pinnacles National Parks. His published works include science fiction, fantasy and poetry. Walton’s novel, Dawn Drumswon, the 2014 New Mexico Book Awards Tony Hillerman Prize for best fiction. His “Sockdologizer” won the Saturday Writers 2020 Everything Children contest.
http://chaosgatebook.wordpress.com/

Cascading Snowflakes, by Ivor Steven

Cascading Snowflakes
by Ivor Steven

A morning blizzard of hailstones
Smothers my old frozen bones
Polarized, I am shivering head to spine
Chilling my chasms of hard lines

Daily coldness unwrapping
Mid-morning thawing, eventually happening
Melting, my eternal iceberg breaks
Into an avalanche of cascading snowflakes

Covering me in a white blanket of crystal firestones
Gradually warming my lonesome bones
Turning my purple blood into glowing red
Clearing heavy fogginess from my head.

Ivor Steven was formerly an Industrial Chemist, then a Plumber, and has been writing poetry for 19 years. His book, Tullawalla, was recently published. He has had numerous poems published in anthologies, and on-line magazines. He is an active member of the Geelong Writers Inc.(Australia), and is a team member/barista with the on-line magazine, Go Dog Go Cafe (America).

Time Strolls, by Ivor Steven

Time Strolls
by Ivor Steven

I am no sleepy koala
Nor a pretty brolga
I am stoic and ancient, like Mount Olga
An old scribe from Tullawalla

You cannot feel my heart
Nor can you see my star chart
I am an astronaut without a spacecraft
An old pilot from the lost Ark

I am not flying alone in the dark
Nor will I swim among the hungry sharks
I am a dreamer fishing for humanities restart
An old disciple waiting to disembark

Ivor Steven was formerly an Industrial Chemist, then a Plumber, and has been writing poetry for 19 years. His book, Tullawalla, was recently published. He has had numerous poems published in anthologies, and on-line magazines. He is an active member of the Geelong Writers Inc.(Australia), and is a team member/barista with the on-line magazine, Go Dog Go Cafe (America).

Sometimes Distance Is Never Far Enough, by Misky Braendeholm

Sometimes Distance Is Never Far Enough
by Misky Braendeholm

What’s distance look like to you?
Is it measured like arm’s length,
or is it as abstract as the word.
Is your distance blurred like mine,

and does sex remind you that you
are mortal, that one day warmth
will leave your body behind.
Undoubtedly, that is distance.

And once when my heart was young,
I was on the edge of being loved.
But no. Unrequited. Is that what
distance feels like. Abandoned
faith, like an empty church.

I’m coming out of my hidey-hole.
Me, like a sheered sheep, old mutton.
My endless summers are vanishing.
I feel age, and I feel its distance.

Process Notes:
As the Lockdown in the UK slowly lifts, we are re-assessing what distance means. No one seems exactly sure what’s what – an arm’s length; a broom handle; an umbrella.

Misky Braendeholm’s work is regularly published in monthly issues of Waterways in the Mainstream – Ten Penny Players, Visual Verse, and Right Hand Pointing.

Waiting for the Plague to Pass Over, by Jane Newberry

Waiting for the Plague to Pass Over
by Jane Newberry

Do not let fear seep beneath the door.
Swaddled by the golden warmth of love
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more

or kneel to kiss the earth upon the floor,
protection paid for with a pair of doves,
do not let fear seep beneath the door.

Ancient rituals steeped in visceral gore
have all been superseded from above,
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more,

yet creeping plague infects both rich and poor –
new rituals, priests with visors, gowns and gloves;
do not let fear seep beneath the door,

and no escape to distant hill or moor
to sanctuaries where tortured souls seek salve;
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more.

Fearful waiting for the jug to pour
blest unction making us immune and tough,
do not let fear seep beneath the door –
we need not paint the blood on thresholds any more.

Jane Newberry is a children’s writer yearning to be a grown-up poet. Retirement three years ago brought more time for trying new literary genres. When not restricted by cancer treatment and Lockdown she enjoys a wide range of musical and arts activities and shares her husband’s passion for historic buildings and Celtic Cornwall.

Publications to date:
2008 – A Sackful of Songs (Cramer Music);
2012 – A Sackful of Christmas (Cramer Music);
2018 – poem in anthology, The Possibility of Living – (Poetryspace)
poem shortlisted for Bridport Poetry Prize;
2019 – Poem in anthology, Dragons of the Prime (The Emma Press);
2019 – Mi-shan shortlisted for Mslexia Novella Prize;
March 2020 – Big Green Crocodile (Otter-Barry Books).

Lines Below the Bridge, by Jane Newberry

Lines Below the Bridge
by Jane Newberry

Venturing out in Saltash –
Is this how they felt after Chernobyl?
Everything a little unreal,
certainty provided by the Co-op,
still turquoise, still shabby,
still there and, by the waters’s edge
where salt-laden gales wash
the benches, the man from the
Council is doing it again
and mowing the daisies,
the pretty end of town.

Daringly buying coffee, real cappuchino,
sandwiched between the vet and
the barber, time stands still
at Bella’s Coffy – gangsta pirates
of yesteryear still hanging,
unchanged by Covid.
Yet Saltash is still Saltash,
sleeping in pandemic coma,
still bathed in a glow of inconsequence
with nothing much to sell and
carpet-slippered old folk
shambling nowhere.

Jane Newberry is a children’s writer yearning to be a grown-up poet. Retirement three years ago brought more time for trying new literary genres. When not restricted by cancer treatment and Lockdown she enjoys a wide range of musical and arts activities and shares her husband’s passion for historic buildings and Celtic Cornwall.

Publications to date:
2008 – A Sackful of Songs (Cramer Music);
2012 – A Sackful of Christmas (Cramer Music);
2018 – poem in anthology, The Possibility of Living – (Poetryspace)
poem shortlisted for Bridport Poetry Prize;
2019 – Poem in anthology, Dragons of the Prime (The Emma Press);
2019 – Mi-shan shortlisted for Mslexia Novella Prize;
March 2020 – Big Green Crocodile (Otter-Barry Books).

Dream Miner, by Emil Sinclair

Dream Miner
by Emil Sinclair

“We are lived by powers we pretend to understand.”
—W. H. Auden

I am a miner of dreams,
at work in the deep dark
perilous shafts
of the Underworld;
searching for the gold
and silver,
and the uncut gems
of meaning
in the nightly
carnival of souls,
the parade of the dead,
the freakish side-shows
of strange, inexplicable
things and places
I cannot describe
by the light of reason.
Until one night,
I saw her standing there,
arms folded,
gently laughing at me
as I toiled away,
sweating profusely,
cursing the darkness,
swinging the pickaxe
of my sharp intellect
at my intransigent dreams.
Then suddenly,
in a flash,
I saw clear through
the great lie:
They are not mine;
I am theirs.
The meaning
of a dream
is in my end.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

Jaguar Dreams, by Emil Sinclair

Jaguar Dreams
by Emil Sinclair

I think we’re having
a conversation;
when suddenly I realize
you’d left the room
years ago—
slammed the door
on your way out,
in fact—
to go and keep
promises
you’d already broken;
left me standing there
in a cold and empty
box;
thinking
wondering
hoping
you’d come back.
But you never did.
You’d send me telegrams,
from time to time;
bulletins and postcards
of your journeys
to conscience
and duty
While full of rage,
I tore up the syllabus
of our crash course
together,
and tossed out all
the souvenirs
of our brief safari
to the heartland:
wooden dolls
and painted boxes;
mementos of nothing.

Then one night
in a fitful sleep
I dreamt that you’d
come back.
“I never left,”
you whispered,
as you gently slipped
in my sleeping hand
a Jaguar’s tooth,
you said—
the hardest fang
of any cat,
a shaman’s talisman.
I could not move,
or open my eyes,
but felt your warm breath
brush against my ear.
When I awoke,
I searched the house,
so sure you’d really
been there.
Then I looked down
at my clenched fist,
and opened it to find
nothing—
except the impression
in my palm
of a crescent moon;
made by you,
before I was ever
born.

Emil Sinclair is the pseudonym of a sometime poet and longtime philosophy professor in New York City.

Dreaming of Yoga, by Joan Mazza

Dreaming of Yoga
by Joan Mazza

I’m back at yoga class in Fort Lauderdale,
early, as usual, to stake out my place with a towel,
discover I’ve forgotten mine and choose one
from a closet—damp and flecked with glitter.
The phone rings and no one’s there to answer,
so I do, say, This is Joan, realize I should have said,
Yoga Today! in a cheery voice. The caller is distraught,
speaking in a code I understand. His wife is pregnant;
they’re pondering abortion. I tell him not to wait
too long, but don’t advise. What does your wife want?
He doesn’t answer. I’m sorry I’ve answered the phone,
am out of my league. When I turn, the whole class
has arrived. Someone has taken my space. The room’s
too crowded, the teacher/owner schmoozing,
holding forth with narcissistic nonsense tales,
not directing postures. He promises refunds
for everyone who stays, but not to those who’ve
left already. I want to leave! Here comes that old
dream cliché without lucidity. Where’s my purse?
The women at the desk won’t let me look inside
their cabinet, say it’s not in there. I don’t remember
where I placed it when I took that call. I step outside
to find large shelves with towels, clothes, and purses,
but not mine. They’re on the street, unprotected. Won’t
someone snatch a purse? Distressed, I wake. As usual,
I’ve identified another flim-flam and must escape. But
it’s just my daily Trumpmare. No need for alarm.

Joan Mazza has worked as a microbiologist and psychotherapist, and taught workshops on understanding dreams and nightmares. She is the author of six books, including Dreaming Your Real Self, and her poetry has appeared in Rattle, Valparaiso Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Poet Lore, and The Nation. She lives in rural central Virginia. http://www.JoanMazza.com