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A Bizarre Dream

black flowers
something like lily-tulips
cross-pollinated with pitcher plants
or venus fly traps

hungry, toothed
with dog's teeth

not to be disturbed

on their broad, stubby tongues
salivating with pollen
were dead black birds, uneaten
(perhaps that is telling of something?)

faint squawks echoed still
from moments past,
when the speed of sound slowed down

try as I might
to move between them
field-yard was too heavily dotted
with their presence

I alerted them

up came their roots
like Baba Yaga's chicken-footed hut
to come after me
loose soil falling all around in black and white

the only way to get away
was to fly
climb
outrun those mouths

Style / type: 
Free verse
Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
What did you think of my title?
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
How was the beginning/ending of the poem?
Is the internal logic consistent?
Last few words: 
From an actual dream. This is the only part I can really remember. I think the dream must have changed after this bit.
Editing stage: 

Comments

sharing your dream in a poem is a great idea. The words and images read easily and paint a picture.

The hard part might now be to connect the poem to your wake reality. What is that "telling of something" I think this can be done in a surrealist way, from the "conscious sub conscious" which, in a way, is where the muse of poetry lives. As in the line "when the speed of sound slowed down", a very intriguing line not from the dream but from that other dimension of being awake within a dream.

I think you have a really interesting theme for a poem, the idea of trying to escape from the hungry birds. The dream could be a catalyst to write that surrealist narrative in which the poem and the dream are one..like what Poe did.
..

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

I really wish I knew what it meant, but I just can't imagine what the message was, so I left that question as a question. Maybe some personal reflection will help me figure it out.

Thank you so much for the suggestions,
Kelsey

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author comment

if you know the Triggering Town by Richard Hugo. Very important essay about modern poetry. You make your own "town" , you're own rules, your own universe. Once you live in that town, that place of your imagination, you are free to expose anything you want. So you don't have to know what it means, but what it feels like it means. A lot of poets have picked up on that idea of introducing themselves in a poem- as either a tourist of resident of the town, this reality place of the poet.
I think you are well on your way in this poem. I just would love to see you suck out just a wee bit more..
...

Eumolpus
I'd rather learn from one bird how to sing
than teach ten thousand stars how not to dance
ee cummings

I've had a few trips on certain substances, that weren't as good as that!
Ordinarily, I'd tell you that I believe that your dreams are an attempt of your sub-conscious to get in touch with your awake-mind. However, today, I think that maybe your plants are communicating with you as you are asleep, letting you know that they need watering!
I liked the story, the words and the descriptions told the story well.
It was dark and somewhat macabre, while having a humorous undertow. Nice!

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

I don't have any plants! I live in an apartment! Maybe you are totally right and its just that something else in my life needs a metaphorical "watering," but I don't know what.

Thank you,
Kelsey

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author comment

do dream analysis, because every person's head is different. I do think that you have hit upon the right idea though. And why should living in an apt. preclude having plants? I liked the poem it gave me a chill. Not easy. I hope I wasn't remiss in treating it as a humorous episode. I know that nightmares are scary. ~ Gee.
.

Please acknowledge critique and comments.
They are a vital part of our community!
Critique or comment today!

It was just weird, not really scary! I could fly in the dream, so I was able to get away. Let me elaborate and say that I have no green thumb whatsoever. LOL.

Thank you again and hope you and family are doing okay in this crazy weather,
Kelsey

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author comment

To me this dream sequence has a blend of Jekyll & Hyde sprinkled with mystery...made good reading
.....................

raj (sublime_ocean)

What a compliment! Thank you so much. Glad you enjoyed it, and glad I woke up in the morning still remembering these weird details long enough to write them down.

Kelsey

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author comment

it has to be said that you are an incredible poet author. these days, though, my poems are void of appreciation points. may it now be anointed with the truth that, as I hold my head in both of my hands, I hear my verses crying oh well bye
Poetry can have a tendency to be abstract by intention especially considering it is written as an expression of self so naturally only the author will have a full understanding
your poems are fuelled with a profound knowledge of everything, both human and surreal. keep up with your fine words because they sing for love, god and the other side.

Mario Vitale

Thank you for your kindness. I appreciate the appreciation! I often feel like I get very little of that in real life, so to get it here is all the more special.

As for getting appreciation on your poetry here: you get what you give! Praise is important to keep a writer going, but if you want to really engage with your fellow poets here, challenge yourself to give more than praise. Effort shows and folks will notice and reciprocate!

For example, you had a really great opportunity to engage with Rula on your recent poem, "What You Don't Know About Me". Yet, instead of thanking her for reading and taking the time to write a thoughtful comment, all you could say was that you already knew it needed work but didn't she agree that it was "incredible".

You forced her into a corner with a reply like that! She could only agree to such a comment unless she wanted to come across as cruel. You shut down the potential for a nice conversation and acted arrogantly toward one of the sweetest, most friendly and gentle person on this entire site.

On another recent poem, "A Gangsta Life," raj also gave you good feedback. He felt like the poem read like pieces of a poem that could be better connected. All you had to do was ask where the pieces felt disconnected. Maybe raj wouldn't have a clear answer. Maybe he would. Either way there could have been a great conversation there. You might have learned that he hasn't listened to any rap music and that's why he saw a disconnect. Then you could have introduced him to some inspiring music.

But that's only the half of it! Having the conversation and showing other members you are willing to put in the time to talk with them like a person is step 1. Step 2 is taking their words to heart, showing them that their effort to have these conversations is worthwhile. It is emotional and intellectual labor, after all. Since this is a poetry workshop, that means revising poetry. You don't have to implement all or even any exact suggestions, but making changes shows others that their time is actually appreciated in a way that saying "thank you" just doesn't show.

I looked back through your poems going back to November 1. You have written over 30 poems in those few months. I've written 3 in that same time and have a total of 11 poems on the site. Of those 11, only 4 have not been revised, and of those 4, two didn't receive any suggestions I could use. Of your 30+ poems from the past few months, you have made a revision to 7 of them. Everyone one of those 7 revisions was a single change to just a letter or a word or two, usually to correct a typo. That's it. So are we to assume the other 23+ poems are perfect and no one left any suggestions on them at all? I doubt it. Online and in-person your actions speak and that tells other people how they should interact with you. It doesn't look like you care to revise much, and it doesn't look like you care to give constructive suggestions much, so what incentive to other members of the workshop have to give you the feedback and comments you hope for?

If it hard to hold a genuine conversation here, it is not because other people aren't willing to talk. It is because you don't want to hear, or if you do hear, it doesn't look like it by your actions. None of us here are experts or professional poets. All of us here have lives outside of the Internet and responsibilities that take up our time, but we make an effort. When we do, others notice, appreciate it, and reciprocate. That's how a community lives, by stepping up and supporting one another. And support isn't just praise; it's constructive. It's a conversation.

Take care,
Kelsey

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author comment

The kind of analysis of your 30 poems done by Kelsey and time invested by her to do so in itself is testimony of what Neopoet offers and you could benefit from. I hope you will look at her comment objectively.

Thanks Kelsey for your sincere comment to a fellow member of Neopoet...
......................................................................................................................

raj (sublime_ocean)

You write books on here, man. Look at the comment before Raj's comment. Your thesis must have increased your taste for paragraphs of excellent prose.

The first image here is "black flowers", "venus fly traps", "dead black birds", "teeth", all this is beautifully rendered but also very typical dream symbolism. From my perspective as an amateur, uncredited dream analyst, you are having a precognition or something of that sort about mortality. I think this is about mortality; the fragility of nature, also. Only a writer could have this kind of dream. Well dreamt.

I can hardly force myself to get this thesis done. It is a struggle to write enough when it is a requirement, even though it is a topic I love dearly. I think I am just afraid of failing, so I put it off.

I wrote extensively to Mario in the hope of encouraging him. Jess often thinks I talk too much/write too much on here! I don't talk much in person, though. Too shy.

Thank you,
Kelsey

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author comment

and don't get me wrong, every word you write is intelligent, thoughtful and insightful. It's just that sometimes I feel you waste your energies on the likes of that Christian plagiarist a few months ago, Eccentric poet who has made it quite clear she intends to remain a victim and give nothing, and this religious zealot psychopath who many of us have given a lot of time trying to help.

You have so much to give I hate to see it being spent on blank walls.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

even I can never get through to these people, maybe it is meaningful/useful for someone else reading.

Kelsey

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author comment

I should never have doubted you.

cheers,
Jess
Neopoet is a workshop. Poets take the time to read and think about your work and offer suggestions.
There is no obligation to make any changes however please acknowledge critique and comments.

All those toothed flowers bearing dead birds are likely time and careful as you are trying to navigate through them they will always pursue you and eventually catch up with you. Being a fairly young person this dream might well be the first time you have really faced up to your own mortality. OK this was a dream analysis from Doc Holliday you can leave your dime at the front desk lol.....stan PS I liked the poem

I can remember some of my nightmares from as early as about about age 5.

In one, my brother, my dad and I went to the grocery store (a very normal occurrence), but at the store were these weird Halloween monster head decorations that I could tell were real heads, but no one else seemed to notice. My dad put them away in the closet in my grandma's bedroom and I wasn't happy about it. Later the heads came alive and became entire monsters and they chased me under my parent's bed. I was terrified for my life, but as much as I screamed my dad told me there was nothing to be afraid of. He stood there while they got me. I think the fear stemmed from a realistic Halloween mask in a cousin's bedroom that really scared me at that age.

In another around the same age, I was playing in the front yard with my brother and some cousins. When it was time to come in, I went up to the porch, but no one else did so I went back out to get them. There was an unusual boulder in the front yard that definitely never existed in real life. When I went up to it, calling/looking for my brother and cousins to come inside, I saw this person dressed in some kind of ninja suit with a helmet. The person cut my cousin's head off. I tried to hide in a crevice of the rock, but the person grabbed me and cut my head off too. Don't know where that one came from, though.

Can't remember any good dreams from way back then, though. It's a shame. They would probably make wonderful stories and poems.

Kelsey

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author comment

It fascinates me that doctors don't know that much about sleep and dreams in the grand scheme of things. Although, I've heard that we always dream, but we can't remember many of them. Unless we are not entering the dream stage of sleep (REM), we supposedly do dream every night with no recollection.

Since writing this poem I've had a lot of strange dreams, that seem to be responses to my recent stress, but the dreams seem to have nothing to do with the cause of the stress. Don't know what to think!

Thank you for the read and feedback. Your comments always mean a lot to me.

Kelsey

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author comment

as you don't have flowers

guys wake up panting
early morning
they have desires
I suppose
all would know it
why
they also dream
and scream

you have excellence in your visuals
at night
which helps you to compose poetry
extraordinary

like the scientist guy found out the formula of Benzene
as snakes only chased him in his dreams
then all was like all Quiet on the Western Front
no bullets flew

Such exploratory dreams
come to me often too
so I compose
in dreams
I suppose

Thank you for reading. I'm not sure if it is my desire to have flowers, since they were monstrous flowers and it was a bit of a frightening dream. But I am sure there was some message of what I need/want in the dream, because I felt so unfulfilled in the dream and after waking up. Just not sure what.

Thank you again,
Kelsey

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author comment

during dream
sleeps your conscious mind
why dwell so deep
there is nothing left of a dream
to sweep
unless you want your eyes to swell
nothing can any one ever tell....

to keep the brain alive
synapses work like a beehive

I'm going to offer a bit then
go back and read the other
critiques;

Black flowers, scary, a premonition
perhaps of an oncoming death, we
all die and most of us don't want to.

"hungry, toothed
with dog's teeth"
Instead of "toothed", which I find
it trips me up (probably just me)
I'd change it a bit and go with
"sporting dog's teeth" or along
those lines (I used "sporting"
because it's bad and I don't want
to try to re-write it for you, just want
to give an idea).

Oh, great response to chevy

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