In My Dream
in the style of Emily Dickinson
In bed of rock I laid me down
Time’s sand beneath the sheets
I fled the day through that First Watch
dark ends and want completes.
My headcage swell’d with pricking thought
sown in obsolete hour.
Sleep plowed me with her feeling hand,
Dream bloomed my dark flower:
A message of you, writ on skin,
flared up in onyx flame:
The solitaire took a woman!
On her brown face--your name.
Dreams are ever a house in pain.
Certainty can’t win back
the vision slain, the drab of hope
is lost to bitter luck.
For there your letter waited--Lead,
envelope crackled blue.
Your words affirmed Calamity
And from the folded pages flew
Two tiny skulls that kissed and kissed,
two ivory figures twined;
where bone met bone and rib hooked rib
two skeletons aligned.
Dawn clattered in, face filmed in doubt--
meaning I never knew.
Dream twisted the path before us--
death to me, life to you.
original work, November 1986
substantially revised 2011
Kerry's challenge today is to attempt the ballad form as used by one of my favorite poets, Emily Dickinson, without parody, intentional or unintentional. I can only hope.(!) This is quite an old poem, not much of a mini at seven stanzas, but much changed and shortened now from the abab tetrameter eleven stanza original.