Thursday, 28 July 2016


The children are young again,
chuntering and chattering as they climb up the stairs.   
The door has become half glass, glass greasy and grimy,
grimy and greasy with the passage of time.
Yet I can see through it, see the young children,
chuntering and chattering as they climb up the stairs.

Their father is with them, a leash looped round his neck. 
(The eldest is tugging him pulling him as they climb up the stairs.)  
He tugs off the leash, I hear him dial a number,
hear him ask quizzically:  What’s it with the roast?

This room has rats in it, I hear them
scratching and scurrying, there’s a tail
twixt the books and the brandy, and fearful I tug it,
but tis only a shoelace and I sigh with relief. 
The fire is guarded as coals rage in their anger,
and warmth beckons me over and I sit down beside it,
sit down beside it in a fat comfy armchair   as children
chunter and chatter as they climb up the stairs.  
Their father, black hair full of rats’ tails, looks
through the half glass, mouth open and hanging,
eyes startled and staring as I beckon him in.

He is gone in an instant and the door is quite solid
as children screaming and screeching fall down the stairs. 
I sit by the fire, raging in anger
as I don’t understand it; I don’t get it at all.

The rats are scurrying and scratching
in the space neath the ceiling and children
are screeching and screaming as they fall down the stairs.  
I sit in my armchair, my mouth full of brandy,
weeping and wailing as I don’t get it at all.

Anna :o]

The above is based on a dream I recently had, a dream that remained quite vivid long after I had woken.  The dream took its location in the first floor flat we lived in, our first home after marriage.  As bits of the dream began to disappear from my memory, I wrote what I could remember down.  Brandy wasn’t part of it, the shoelace twixt books and an old gramophone, but I couldn’t get the gramophone to ‘fit’ into the poem, so brandy it became.

I love dreams, thinking them more entertaining than television, and if dreams do have a meaning, a subconscious message, I don’t understand mine at all.

Freud believed that our dreams are a window into our subconscious and reveal our unconscious desires, thoughts and motivations.  He believed they are a way for us to satisfy our urges and desires that are unacceptable to society.

Some of the dreams I have are quite startling and if Freud is right, I think I need sectioning…

Shared with the good folk at dVerse OLN, hosted by the lovely Grace.

Image: courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Source and credit: Welcome Images


Sanaa Rizvi said...

That's quite an innovative write!

Kim M. Russell said...

Oh, I so enjoyed reading this poem! The sound effects are superb. I was in the dream with you, listening to the children and the rats.

PoppySilver said...

Fascinating free form and kept me engaged throughout the whole, quite a thought provoker, Poppy.

Gayle Walters Rose said...

Anna, your notation at the bottom helped. What was your subconscious trying to tell you?! :) A very interesting poem! I kept a journal for a while of all those dreams that stayed with me well after I awoke. Some were very clear in their message to me and others were more obscure.

Brian Miller said...

Whew. What a dream. Lots of surreal and terrifying elements. The rats, their tales as the fathers hair. The leash. Even just the critter chatter of the children. Not necessarily intelligible. It is interesting. Wonders where our subconscious takes us. Ha.

Victoria said...

The wild side of our dreams so rich in imagination and how nicely you have translated it into poetry. I can see grammar school age kids loving this one. Repetition works well here.

Grace said...

Your dreams about yourself, mostly unconscious. sometimes we may not understand it at all , but its good to be aware of our emotional response.

Truthfully, I am scared of dreams with rats.

Thanks for joining us Anna.

Mark Walters said...

That's a very odd dream. The father with a leash on his neck being pulled by his kids, and the presence of rats. It could suggest many things. It sure made for an interesting dream

Anonymous said...

Sometimes it's not so much what happens in dreams, as their symbols that we should interpret. But I am no interpreter of dreams except my own. Makes a good story-poem though, Thanks Anna!

Walt Wojtanik said...

Dream provide great inspiration. The sound asleep kind as well as the wide awake dreams. Never stop dreaming Anna! Good, bad or weirdly wild... make dreams work for you.

Thotpurge said...

Quite an intriguing dream and you've captured it so vividly.. all those repetitions make it more interesting!

kaykuala said...

Freud's explanation seems acceptable. The sub-conscious can let out tell-tale signs of what the mind is thinking. The feeling is good if the dreams turn out good!


Vinay Leo R. said...

If I had a dream with rats, I'd wake up immediately, I think. :) That said, if it inspired this poem, It can't be too bad.

Susan Anderson said...

I always try to think about what each image I chose for my dream represents to me. That usually helps me figure out the meaning. Loved reading this!


signed...bkm said...

Love that this was a dream...the rats the image and the children.. what truths lie in the message of this dream or any for that matter.. at times I believe the material world is the false world and the dream world is the center of our true self...bkm

Charles Lyman said...

Freud was the one who needed sectioning... but then, he never got poetry, did he! Great poem; great dream! It needed to be brandy... what rhymes with gramophone?

Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Fscinating! An enthralling scene, and I like the mystery. Also the illustration seems perfect. If you only dream these things, you don't need sectioning – apparently it acts as a safety valve.

Victoria Young said...

Wonderful imagery and great detail in this. Lucid dreams are the best!

annell said...

I also love dreams as a basis for writing.

Bryan Ens said...

The refrains of the children climbing the stairs, and later falling down helps set the mood for this delightfully bizarre dream sequence. Really like this one!

Charlotte said...

Vivid images here. Enjoyed!

The Bizza said...

Quite a surreal dream you weaved poetically. I like that it's both playful and haunting.

Mike@Bit About Britain said...

Fascinating! Intriguing and powerfully visual poem. If Freud was right, we ALL probably need locking up!

Cro Magnon said...

Susan Anderson is right. It's worth looking at each element of a dream and trying to work-out what it represents. I think that was what Freud tried to say too.

Jenny Woolf said...

Disturbing and alarming. But usually when I have a vivid dream it is trying to tell me something, or, rather, I am trying to tell myself something. Quite often something that I find inconvenient or disturbing to think about in waking life. The dreams often use scraps of perfectly ordinary things that have happened during the day and twist them into something that fits my emotions.

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Oh wow this was written in such a vivid and haunting manner...I cannot stop thinking about the scene you painted...