yesterday’s dream

without stiffness of protocol
and banner of investiture
with no consecration of hands
or dub of metal on a shoulder

slums were bulldozed clear
the displaced housed
cities dropped their noisy voices
bridges crooned a wind music
statues no longer deferential
doffed their white gloves
each street and corner swept
every pigeon roosted

parks in eternal summer
greener than ever i saw them
flowers sprucing the hour
and the sky under azure orders

dreams tease
but make no promises
they are their own flow
arhythmic flux without seconds
and don’t care if they solidify
the liquid logic of desires
what happens happens

putting spirit first
not pretending to grasp a mind
that pins comfortable fixed colours
to an uncertain mast

it takes will to separate
from the longing for imperatives
more than a conscious hour
or a thought to do just that
and it’s no victory or defeat
to give up struggles not worth it

my want is selfish
without sweat or recollection of turning
to wake deadweight soft and snug
like children in the morning are
when we go to stir them

54 thoughts on “yesterday’s dream

  1. Well this is packed with symbolism, John: the longing for our pasts to remain constant and for change to be only as we want it, and for our ideals to materialise. The more I read this the better it gets – a classic, I feel!

  2. Our minds our a Tempest , tossing the fragments like a shipwreck that disappears over the horizon. This is a recurring dream- well worth several reads.

  3. Your poetry gains so much with those progressions through enumerations… That’s a classic by you, kind of your own signature…

    My favorite verses here are

    you & I/ horizons
    fall/still
    perspective

    Sending you my very best wishes, Aquileana 😀

    • Aquileana,
      You are support and encouragement and I value your response each and every time.
      Yes, it is in many respects a signature poem for me as I look at the state of the world at present and how far we have fallen; of course there many good people ‘out there’ trying to make a real difference but right now they seem to be heavily outnumbered.
      Looking forward to Your next posting, it’s sure to cheer me up.

      With love and respect
      John

    • Yes, Pepperanne,
      there’s a degree of sadness in the work together with disappointment and frustration; we always as a species have the opportunity to do better but we seem to be failing – a certain amount of failure is inevitable but we are failing as far as I can see far too much.
      Sorry for going on.
      My very best always
      John

  4. A lovely, rather wistful poem, a look back with some regret…beautifully and sad without a hint of maudlin, I find the final lines stunning:
    like children in the morning are
    when we go to stir them.
    wow!

    • Thank You, Holly, for your sensitive response and a special thanks for mentioning the final lines; writers aren’t supposed to have favourite lines in their own work (who sez?) but I do admit I’m more than fond of the closing of this poem and ‘fought’ with myself a while over the lines.
      You take the very best care, you are so worthwhile.
      Ever
      John

  5. Thank you John, what a beautiful poem, you made me think about all those uncertain masts, and whatever had been pinned to them… and I have to admit that I would love to live those days and dreams again:)
    Love
    Inese

  6. A lovely dream indeed, John, and I’m especially fond of :
    “my want is selfish
    without sweat or recollection of turning
    to wake deadweight soft and snug
    like children in the morning are
    when we go to stir them”

  7. Where serenity is oft cradled in luxurious clouds pristine of concept and desire. Surely the magician of slumber prepares those half-way houses of reality and want just for sleepy old men such as myself John. Thank you for this affirmation in poetic form.

  8. Wonderful writing John, especially “it’s no victory or defeat to give up struggles not worth it.” For me, it’s stepping back and realizing when it’s time to say enough is enough ~

  9. Life rarely goes as we would wish it but indeed that is ‘no victory or defeat’ because one of the elements that makes living so awesome is the tangents, and where they can lead us. I offer you by example a couple of ex-pats like ourselves living in the wrong/right hemisphere!

    From a particularly well-crafted opening, allusion, articulation and filigreed language make this poem a hugely enjoyable read. My compliments John.

    • Such a fine response, Mike, to a work that’s not to everyone’s liking (I won’t share the emails).
      Thank You for your sharp mind and your generous heart, I’m very grateful for both.
      My best always
      John

  10. I can interpret this lovely poetry in several ways, still I come to a poignant, perhaps melancholy. conclusion, yes, a want to return to a time past…please forgive my imagination, it runs wild at times. Here; a work of art:
    “my want is selfish
    without sweat or recollection of turning
    to wake deadweight soft and snug
    like children in the morning are
    when we go to stir them”
    many hugs John.

  11. Aptly titled poem, Brother John. The landscape of past opportunities is truly like a dream. Wonderful last lines:

    my want is selfish without sweat or recollection of turning to wake deadweight soft and snug like children in the morning are when we go to stir them

    A new day, innocent in its newness.

  12. and it’s no victory or defeat
    to give up struggles not worth it

    Oh My, John, that line alone holds a universe of wisdom to contemplate. The problem with most of us is we don’t understand that sometimes giving up is more courageous than being determined to overcome. Always the best poetry from you.

    • You see to the very heart of matters,
      Belle,
      and for that I’m truly grateful.
      Thank You for your generosity and let me say again how delighted I am to have you here on WordPress, really happy.
      Big hugs
      John

  13. “Yesterday is but a dream,
    Tomorrow is only a vision.
    But today well lived makes every yesterday a dream of happiness, and every tomorrow a vision of hope.”

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