the dream giver, and other things

The sun is in its Ptolemaic orbit, epicyclic,
if I’m not mistaken, and its light is focussed on
the kitchen cupboards. Coffee’s in a capsule
and bread is in a toaster.

The songs of rowdy traffic lorikeets
are mimicking my neighbor yelling at the kids,
and a distant mirror is shattering,
with someone’s cherished image
dissolving in the daylight.

—It will do.


Before the sunrise, I’d waited for the Dream Giver,
and pondered on the indents in the Scrabble board,
on the word wolves and their myopic teeth,
all different, all the same.

When she finally turned up, she apologized
for her tardiness, and told me that her book
of time had been accidentally left out in a storm.
She’d microwaved the soggy remnants,
and discovered that the cosmos would be softer
in the not-too-distant future, with embroidery
and floral cushions; either that, or florid futons.

—Close enough for jazz.


Breakfast is done, and now I’m barefoot
on the patio, where the weathered boards
are curving upwards to the light,
where the bracken clambers up the steps,
and the spiders’ dewdropped threads
spin from tree to tree.

We might decide to watch reality
—a movie show in Centennial Park—
the adequate sun and I,
with actors whispering secrets
that everybody knows,
and sticky ice cream melting.

The world’s imperfect nature,
I don’t care to mention,
and even if a contradiction
is apparent

—it will do.

cast in order of appearance
the sun            herself
the lorikeets      mechanical and feathered creations
my neighbor        a stranger
the Dream Giver    a deity
word wolves        dreams with teeth
the actors         fictional performers

complaints and questions
me too


The Rain, the Park, and Other Things, by the Cowsills, and other pleasant ‘60s anodynes.

The Ptolemaic system is geocentric, with the earth as its central fixed point. I am unsure of the fixed point’s exact address.

Scrabble is a trademark of Mattel and Hasbro.


the sun sleeps in, youtube video made with the VEE, the visual evolution engine.

24 thoughts on “the dream giver, and other things

  1. A relaxed work, one that could describe our “normality” apart from the middle two stanzas perhaps. Gentle and respectful feel. I particularly like the poetry of the opening line. Well done Steve.

    • Thanks, Paul. I was happy with the opening line, after a little orbital adjustment with the thrusters. Sometimes it’s possible to appreciate being alive without any particular excitement or newness. I don’t manage it as often as I should.

  2. A lovely piece of work with a domestic feel about it but domestic that is close to epic. “Close enough for jazz” is an arresting description. Keep them coming Steve.

    • Thank you, Erik. I’m coming to appreciate domesticity more and more. With “close enough,” I find that small things can easily annoy: at home, for example, a painting hanging at a slight angle. I try to practice Buddhist acceptance, but don’t manage as often as I’d like.

  3. Arresting art work Steve. I love the idea of a book of time being microwaved. As usual you continue to surprise with your originality.

    • Thank you, Margaret. Perhaps the video isn’t exactly the sun, but it’s bright–artistic license. I’ve microwaved the odd few pages that got wet, it works fine. You wouldn’t want to microwave gold lettering though: because it’s conductive it would catch fire. I discovered that with teabag tags. 😸

  4. Perhaps hanging a dream catcher above the bed would protect the protagonist from word wolves. Love the idea of the sun sleeping in … just as I do on weekends. 🙂 Do I sense a slight tone of resignation in this piece?

    • Thanks, Margarisa. I used to read quite a bit of Stephen King, and I’ve read Dreamcatcher. It helped there, as I vaguely recall.

      I sleep in any day I can. Sadly, the sun runs on her annual schedule. We’re currently in Daylight Saving, and she’s getting up pretty early.

      Resignation: yes, it could very well be, a shade away from acceptance, and a bit further to appreciation.

  5. A restful piece Steve, a restful peace Steve. I like the trademark domestic detail :”Coffee’s in a capsule
    and bread is in a toaster”, also the every day interrupted by a deity.
    It will more than do!

    • Haha, thank you, Jim. I noticed kitchen and breakfast have featured quite a bit in my stuff. It might relate to when I do my writing. Either that, or I always hunt for a snack/make coffee when I don’t know what to write. 😸

  6. Lovely piece Steve – a relaxed groove – particularly liked the idea of the future being softer and embroidered (esp. after the last few days of climate armageddon). Thanks also for the Cowsills – aren’t they darling? –

    • Thanks, Peter. About the soft future, I wouldn’t hold my breath. 😸 Although, I’ve come to realize that, when I think about the past, it’s not, fundamentally, about the way things were. What I miss is my own state-of-mind back then. I took everyone and everything at face value, and how glorious and endlessly fascinating the world was, even minor tragedy was some sort of overly dramatic opera.

      So perhaps it’s a consolation, if you can put your mind there… Yes, the Cowsills, sooo sweet. But again, maybe it’s state-of-mind. These days, we would delve into the Cowsills’ lives and find all the dark stains.

  7. I like to mood in this Steve, relaxed and contemplative. The description of the patio gives me a very vivid mental image.

    Microwaving a few damp pages may work just fine, but I think I would have reservations about a book of time given that treatment.

    I assume the traffic lorikeets are cars honking horns in traffic, a very nice image.

    • Thank you. With the patio and backyard, nothing like a little reality. The park and so on is actually mostly Brazil. One of the advantages of fiction is blurring and blending time and place.

      I agree, I’ve never had to do a large book, although I suppose it might work if it isn’t electrically conductive. You wouldn’t want it getting too hot.

      Yes, and again the sounds are blended. Here in Blakehurst, there’s honking. When I lived in the high-density suburb of Glebe, all the cars beeping when their owners unlocked them sounded like birds.

    • Ah yes, the unforgettably tragic Heartbreak Hotel, where Lonely Street echoes with the cries of lost souls.

      I read that jazz musicians were not at all happy with that phrase. Perhaps a modern equivalent would be “Close enough for twitter facts.”

  8. Hi Steve, I really enjoyed this piece. There is much originality in your writing and beautiful descriptions eg.
    “the weathered boards
    are curving upwards to the light,
    where the bracken clambers up the steps,
    and the spiders’ dewdropped threads
    spin from tree to tree.”

    The way you blend fantasy with the the quotidian is very effective. The last stanza is particularly thought-provoking. This poem reminds me of a surreal film I saw recently called Vivarium. Loved the video too….like a time lapse photo of a rural landscape.

    • Thank you, Nikita. That’s my backyard, unfortunate, in some ways. Starting a comment with, “I won’t mention,” or the equivalent, is immediately contradictory, and, in my experience, it’s often used in a spiteful way, although I intended the Pollyanna Principle here. Glad you liked the vid.

  9. Pingback: the dream giver, and other things — inconstant light – The Narrow Edge

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