The Pettiness of Dreams


Inspired in part by Herbert’s ‘Mr. Cogito Laments the Pettiness of Dreams.’


The Mariana had been COMING SOON

Since the Fall of Rome to barbarian tribes,

Yet the wasteland it would one day sit upon

Seemed to me like the fallow fields foretold to follow the End of Days,

Like a slim, white dog following its master,

Searching for scraps,
Withering away with the ebb and flow of time,

Until one day the wicked wind will whisk it away,

And it’ll waver, waif-like, before twirling away in a whirlwind

Of boundless, ecstatic freedom.


The Mariana is like that, too,

Unendingly patient, watching;



One day,

She’ll weary of waiting

In the wasteland where the pools of water –

Most of it left over from Noah’s flood –

Gather to whisper their terrible secrets

Unto the nightmares of children;

And COMING SOON will peel itself away,

And float away, dandelion-wish-like,

Up, and towards greater things,

And the billboard will continue

Rotting its way into the sea,

And then – only then –

Will the Mariana awaken from her restless sleep,

And lament

The pettiness of dreams.


and their ashes will blow away




The old photographs

Tell a story like he could never;

They’ll keep your secrets,

Those long departed who needn’t hope to die;

And they’ll smile – frown –  sit, pensive,

Or be caught in a moment of ecstasy eternal,

Until the day he tires of their ceaseless, immortal existence –

Then, he’ll build a bonfire on the beach and

Pale, ruinous flame will lick and flick at their edges –

Their smiles will curl one last time, and be gone,

And their ashes will blow away,

Still burning.


Dawn Light, Dawn Bright


Glorious daybreak,

And the city lay shining in the distance,

Further inland,

Miles from these golden shores,

Draped in the finery of dawn’s light –

Blindingly, beseechingly bright.


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The trees

Look like the sea of my dreams,



They are the rough waters

Into which I have fallen,

And these November currents

Are as brutal as they come.


They are fragments

Of a different life,

The one I’d thought I’d live,

The one that came and went

As swiftly as Lucifer did,

His chains swinging, singing as they fell,

And Him –

Weeping, not for himself,

But for mankind.


They are the fault lines

Upon which my city is built,

The fractalized wooden sentinels

That stand in lieu of worshippers

Within the House of the Savior

After it’s abandonment

Some time long and long ago.

Another Cloudless Morn



Another cloudless morn,

The drops of dew glistening

In the pre-dawn light

Of the streetlamps standing sentinel high above us.

There is mist o’er the place

Where sand and shore are united once more,

Where blue meets gold as if for the first time;

Indeed, the sun will unfailingly rise,

Tomorrow, and very likely the day after, too,

And the dew will glisten,

And the waves will roar,

And I will be older

By far.

Alone with the Sea



Did you see the pale purple transparency of light

That just this morn, heralded the coming of dawn

O’er the ocean?

Did you notice the great expanse of grey that followed,

Or catch a glimpse of that pastel-colored leaf spiraling through the air,


Did you hear the owl’s lonely cry,

Watch the birds on their journey towards warmer waters,

Witness the arrival of another glorious day,
Or was it just me,

Alone with the sea?

Dawn Breaking


Day is breaking,

And so am I.


The crickets sing, still,

But soon their song will be still and silent;

Already, it has reached a crescendo,

And begun to fade.


Dawn is blossoming from the East,

Spreading outwards like a lover’s touch

Prying open the secret, furtive parts of this world,

Revealing the weary people of the night,

Who have succeeded in their quest to brave the dark,

At least ’til morn’.


The birds have awoken,

And are flying hither and thither;

Soon, their silent wings will take them far from here,

To sing a different song

For some other poet to mournfully record.


They seem starlike,

Silhouetted against the pink streaks of dawn,

Save they are lightless,

And distinctly less distant.


Now, a seagull cries his way shoreward,

And the colors of sunrise, muted, now,

Are phantom-like and fading,

Fading, fading;

And soon, they will be forgotten

In their entirety.


Dawn has broken;

And so have I.