Sandman Words

Dreams.
Mouthfuls of juicy little glow-in-the-dark wads
prancing through unknown fields of taste.
I chomp them, like bits of swollen,
ripened apples falling from the trees of my hidden places,
trees that harbor what was and what might yet be.
They fill me with wondrous pleasures of things, mightily
capturing me away, or slicing my soul’s flanges
to find my heart in a scream.
My dreams.

I rush into wakefulness at the speed of confusion
to find him, maybe, still finishing his copious spell.
But never there, that punctilious little Dreamer man,
who brings us everything but punct,
and whose brim exceeds his girth by a foot,
except his nose, that comically barnacled schnozzle
that could hook the stars on a clear night.
He escapes my wary each and every time,
tricking me into his yellow sublime
with the yak of his klackity klak.

He must oil his shoes, I think
for never have I taken a peak
of his awkward little self, sneaking and speaking
into my imagination of away-ness,
the empty me, who lives alone when
I close my eyes and the Dreamer steals me.
Yet he brings me things of happiness,
towering above life’s sappiness,
-sometimes.  Other times he reaches into me
and takes little parts away, parts I don’t remember.

I think he is Mr. Flaggarty.
The church organist.
He always looks at me like he knows.
And his shoes smell of oil,
the kind they used in Europe in World War II.
He might be a Nazi Dreamer.
Or a French resisting screamer.
But he always brings the most beautiful women,
and leaves me with my own little apple tree.
Tickled Pink, I should think.

A dream.

This poem was written in a form unique to it.  Ten-line stanzas with a floating rhyming couplet within.  The first stanza has the ryming pair as lines 9 and 10.  The next stanza, the rhyming pair moves up one line, to 8 and 9. The next, 7 and 8, and so on.

© 2011 John Richter
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About johnallenrichter

I am an aspiring Poet and adorer of life, a conqueror of nothing. However I am a champion curator of truth and friendship and hold both of those things most dearly to my heart. Welcome to my mind's eye. I hope you will enjoy what you may find and please know that you have a friend here. View all posts by johnallenrichter

22 responses to “Sandman Words

  • liv2write2day

    This is such a perfect snapshot of that little guy that hurls us into confusing during dreamtime. I really like the image of “slicing my soul’s flanges…” Enjoyed this a lot.

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi Victoria… Thank you. “slicing” was actually an afterthought. Originally it was “wounding”, which was too similar to “wonderful” in the previous line so I changed it. I think “slicing” works really good there too. You used the word “confusion,” and it struck me too that maybe i should have detailed that a little more than I did, say maybe to explain the awkwardness and idiosyncrasies of my imaginary Mr. Flaggarty with a greater flare. Maybe there is another stanza waiting to be inserted between the last two….. Thank you….

  • mareymercy

    I think he is Mr. Flaggarty.
    The church organist.
    He always looks at me like he knows.
    And his shoes smell of oil,
    the kind they used in Europe in World War II.
    He might be a Nazi Dreamer.
    Or a French resisting screamer.
    But he always brings the most beautiful women,
    and leaves me with my own little apple tree.
    Tickled Pink, I should think.

    This entire stanza was unexpected, but made perfect sense. I really like it when a poem does that.

    • johnallenrichter

      Thank you for visiting…. I so love your poetry. I agree, this was an odd stanza, and I felt the same way too. But dreams are simply what dreams are. I’m really glad you liked this Cynthia…… That makes me feel good…..

  • Claudia

    hey john…great to see that you’ve linked up with dVerse..but did you put in your link? just wondering, came by your comment on my blog and not sure if i have seen your name on mr. linky at the dVerse site…if not you should link up there so more people will see and visit.
    i like this a lot…being a german of course i swallowed at the mention of nazi dreamer..but i much like the picture of the man you paint with his shoes smelling of oil. i like the tender sensuality at the beginning, then the bridge to reality and back with the own apple tree. very nice piece

    • johnallenrichter

      Claudia, apologies for the premature link to dVerse…. I had every intention of making it Tuesday evening, but what can I say? I’m 52 now, life is a whirlwind and my aging mind doesn’t always cooperate with my desires. I simply forgot. I stole that link from another poet in the hopes that I would have made it there on time. I suppose the link should read instead that I plan to attend on Tuesday coming, If on that day I can remember why these strings are tied around my fingers….. The Nazi reference? Not meant for you, nor anyone in Germany. My confession is that poetry comes from a little black box in the back of my mind. I don’t control it, nor hide what comes from there for sensibilities sake. I merely stash away my emotions there and the little black box does my writing for me. I suspect that reference came as the trace of a conversation you and i had earlier in the week, about Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, both of whom grew up in the rages of that war and both of whom wrote about their father’s constant bickerings of it. Everything in my poetry comes from everything in my life. That’s what makes it beautiful to me.I spent three years in Germany myself as a young man, near the Stuttgart area, and dear Schatzi, I can tell you that those were the greatest years of my life. Thank you for the kind words…….

  • Pat Hatt

    Really dream feel you evoke with this piece, as it does have the sort of essence about it that most dreams have. A tad hmmm and a little bit of ohhhh…haha best I can describe it at the moment..haha.

    “Tickled Pink, I should think”

    Great line and very nice write.

  • Heaven

    What a wonderful dreamy post ….. I was charmed by your words specially these lines:

    “into my imagination of away-ness,
    the empty me, who lives alone when
    I close my eyes and the Dreamer steals me.
    Yet he brings me things of happiness,
    towering above life’s sappiness,
    -sometimes. Other times he reaches into me
    and takes little parts away, parts I don’t remember.”

    Thank you for your enthusiastic comments in my blog.

    Nice to meet you ~

  • brian

    ha fabulous piece…i really enjoyed it andd chuckled a bit at the end it being the organist at the church and your rendering of him…yes sometimes he takes…little bits…

  • hedgewitch

    This is a much more complex poem than the one I just commented on, and I like it even more. I find almost all my poetry in dreams, and I love your personification of that process here, the last two stanzas in particular. Very glad you linked in as I followed your generic name-link to the first poem. The pink fleshed apple–amazing–just trying to imagine biting into it.

  • Arron Shilling (@ArronShilling)

    Im really into what your doing here john – very natural and flowing – a subtle unfurling of soft psyche and an exploration of those parts of our mind that just float – i liked looking inside your little black box – its cool in here

  • oceangirl

    This is the work of the poet. Thank you.

  • Jo Bryant

    A very dreamy surreal journey reading this great poem 🙂

  • rob kistner

    Hi, Rob Kistner here. This is a piece well written, engaging – good work… mine is here: http://www.image-verse.com/clown

    • johnallenrichter

      Visited your site Tuesday night……. Check comment number 18…… Your clown scared the absolute crap out of me Rob…. Just so you understand that as a compliment let me say this, Stephen King is by far my favorite writer on this earth……. Thanks for the kind words…

  • jenne andrews

    Great fun– you have a wonderful sense of lyricism and rhythm– pay me a visit! xxxj

  • Charles Elliott aka Beautyseer

    I enjoyed your use of “punct” and “wary.” Stretching the language! A pure poetic impulse!

    • johnallenrichter

      Charles I am so thrilled that you saw that in my poem…….!!!! Those two words, along with a few other sporadic and impulsive things like away-ness, schnozzle, yak of his klackity klak, and the frilly use of words like sappiness and prancing are what made this poem absolute fun to write. And I don’t know how or why those words came out of me, but I can say they are the reason I titled this poem “Sandman WORDS.” Thank you for recognizing something that is usually reserved just for the personal fancy and fun of the poet himself. It is humbling and exciting to find that that someone else enjoys that too. Thank you so very kindly…….

  • zumpoems

    Very musical, whimsical (who brings us everything but punct) and colorful — I love it when poets rise above their language and truly own it!!!

  • Ann Grenier

    I like “rush into wakefulness at the speed of confusion”. I feel that all the time. I try to remember what revelation I was immersed in but often lose it unless I can quickly grab the pad and pen by the bed to capture a few words.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments on Knot In Line.

    • johnallenrichter

      Hi Ann…. Your words here have absolutely struck home! The day I wrote this poem, “Sandman Words”, I awoke from an amazing dream at about 3 a.m.. In the dream I had been having a delightful, very serious conversation with a beautiful young woman about the most trivial things you could imagine. When I woke I remember thinking how odd it was that we had given such credence and reverence to such totally absurd and menial subjects, it was a lot like “alice in wonderland,” I thought. But it didn’t matter because the entire first verse of this poem was already forming in my head as I laid there rubbing my eyes. It came to me in a flash, and was completely formed before I could even throw the covers back. Dreams escape me too, almost immediately when I awaken so I rushed to the stairs as quickly as I could because I didn’t want to lose the dream or the poem before I could write it down. But anyway, that is where the first line of the second stanza came from, that rush to the stairs, “…rush into wakefulness at the speed of confusion…” As I descended the stairs the dream began to fade, and now I can’t remember what it was that we had been talking about in that dream. But by the time I hit the bottom stair the second stanza was also completely done. I sat at the computer and typed them out exactly as they had come to me. I felt like thief because I didn’t really write those first two stanzas, they a were a gift from God. And so I only needed to add the following two stanzas, which are really the only parts of this poem that came from me. It touched me so dearly when Cynthia, (mareymercy), Claudia and Heaven above remarked on those last two stanzas. Anyway, I wanted to tell you that I lose my dreams too, which is where the line about the Sandman taking parts awy came from…. Thank you so much for your kind words Ann…..

  • ladynyo

    “Hook the stars”…LOL! John, this poem is so rich with imagery and none of it gratuitous. You are far beyond me in couplets and this form…but of course you bend it to suit your own imagination here…and it is wonderful.

    There are so many layers to me in this poem. I am going to have to study it further, because it unlocks a treasure chest of imagination.

    Love it! I’ve been having nightmares lately, and a bit afraid to fall asleep. I need to read this one before I close my eyes….LOL!

    I was startled by the last stanza….the church organist. What a wonderful poetic invention!

    Lady Nyo

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