• Diane Fahey


On Dreams


It needs a strong will, and patience, to hold

the dream inside the body while the mind

imprints itself with icons of bright smoke,

and an arm reaches for pen, paper.

Uncaught, the dream vanishes—a wave-spill’s

glint of moon eclipsed by cloud.


A dream saved is this glass of water

which lights a piecemeal, bizarre version of a room,

encrypts and reverses a text in progress,

swells, presses flat, these clasping fingers.

As the day warms, the glass collects dust,

fresh shadows, kaleidoscopes gold air.

You sip from it, drinking the room, the dream:

here and now and then; nowhere, never.




3 A.M. Waking


After typing, and getting snacks, and eyeing

the slew of drafts on my bed, I slip back in,

numbed by fatigue, my bones feeling

the drilled-out years of walking the line.

First: Dickinson’s ‘The last night that she lived',

Eavan Boland’s ‘I Remember’,

and, by Mary Oliver, ‘Wild Geese’.


Then I start this, propped high so the pen

won't falter, but sliding slowly

under the counterpane of poems

as words come fast.

                             The ink stops. I hear the birds—

Never give up: sing to mark your space,

establish your life's domain—the tone piquant,

a gold spoon tapping on crystal.