"I am hearing poetry when awake, dreaming poetry when asleep, breathing poetry with each breath, I am living in a poem."

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Where Lullabies Die

The Shepard's Dream ~ Henry Fuseli ~ 1793

Deep behind the eyelid crawl
where lullabies die monsters
feed on the sandman’s throat.

There’s no longer a who,
a scratch or a boo, terror
doesn’t play a child’s hide and seek.

Cement streets turn to water
pulling at feet…The drowning
drink likes the taste of breath.

Melinoe knows where sunlight lives
and eats escape with dandelion thumbs
so madness can impeach reality.

Wake up, wake up wherever you are.
This is no longer that...Here is not there.
What you were is peeled from what you’ve become.

©Susie Clevenger 2016

A few notes: The part about the streets turning to water and the drowning actually came from one of my dreams. As a child and a good part of my early adulthood I was plagued by nightmares. 
Melinoe is a Greek goddess who brings nightmares and madness.


Martin Kloess said...

It took me years to realize this. Thank you for sharing.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

OMG - "monsters feed on the sandman's throat".....what a fantastic line! The streets turning to water is very scary. Love how you wove this, Susie.

rhymeswithbug.com said...

this is a creepy nightmare for sure. hope I can sleep tonight ;-)

brudberg said...

Yes nightmares have that element of being very very real... the streets turning to water is so chilling

Kerry O'Connor said...

Wow! Amazing use of language and the succinct turn of phrase. I love it, Susie.

hedgewitch said...

Absolutely the top of your form here, Susie--nightmarish, yet so lucid and cleanly put. I love this line especially: " Melinoe knows where sunlight lives
and eats escape with dandelion thumbs.." Excellent, excellent poem.

Fireblossom said...

The turns of phrase mimic the weirdly changing streets, first one way, then another, in the manner of dreams. I, too, was tormented by nightmares as a child.

Jim said...

I love the dreams that in reality cannot be. Trouble is that I cannot remember them. I was ignorant on Melinoe but I believe he did a good job here. Thank you.

Sara McNulty said...

Love this, Susie. Thanks for giving me the name of that cruel goddess.

Kim M. Russell said...

You got me at the opening lines, Susie! Creepy and nightmarish - my kind of poems!

Ellecdd said...

Wow, a nightmare for sure, I had goosebumps reading your words as I've had similar dreams myself. A perfect poem for both prompts,,,

Stacie Eirich said...

Ohhhh this is so chilling, yet very delicious to read. Saying that surprises me -- because I so often associate dreams with hope, light and a sweet magic. But the other, darker side of dreams is also worthy of our musings -- love how you weave mythology in with actual images from your dream-memories. Thanks for sharing, Susie!

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