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Beyond the Ruins

The Eighth Rhyme of Jean Ami


Written in Recollection
Of Having Experienced a Series
Of Strange Disheartening Dreams


A river flows out of our sleep,
And randomly it winds
Along a landscape
Of events

That has no borderlines

And like a snake with silken skin
That slithers through the grass,

It coils and darts
Impulsively -

Here, slight,
There, wide,
And vast

It has a purpose and a will
That would our passions win,

For it would trouble

What is fair,

With what is foul


It summons daunting effigies
And speaks of wondrous things

That sink beneath
The net of thought
And our best reasoning

It gains us by
A scent or sound

In form, it resonates

And, in our trust,
It rests a while,
But as it rests,

It waits

Upon a coming to its call,
Upon our sure descent
Into its currents,
There to drift

In charmed

This river flows into a pond,
The pond into a lake

The lake is like a looking glass
That only God can break

A spillway lowers to some ruins
Beneath the waterline,
And there is seen
A silhouette

Of wrecks that intertwine

Some wrecks are old
And others new,

Not one is dull or mean,
For they are things
The soul enshrines

Or sins that go


Beyond the ruins, an ocean spreads
Where hopes and passions go,

But as we wake,

They disappear

With all that we would know

A river flows out of our sleep,
And like lost Eden’s snake,
It bids us all to follow it
And never more awake

It does not favor any prey -

It strikes

Or sallies by

And goes unknown
To heart and mind,

To faith,

And wisest eye.

Thoughts of Camille Du Monde: Entry Ten

But dreams cannot be known, not one of them!

I once discussed a dream a poet had in his youth, wherein a pig was gained and lost, as well as that lord’s brother. I focused on the things the poet read before he slept, concluding it was that activity that engendered the dream. But others called into question who it was who did the reading -The poet or a different self? Thus, I lost confidence in my argument, as every man has many variations. And no one can say with certainty to what man, or to what variation within the man, an activity or dream belongs.

Although I regularly think I am the author of a dream, I do not recall an instance when I had complete control over its events – Some events, yes, but not all. This suggests to me that even though I may be the same person who was a while ago awake, I am still only a participant in the events I see and not their author. I may suspect the events are mine because I see them, and I know that I am me as I awake, but I cannot know if I am the source of those events or the only audience that observes them. Even when I am the lone player in a dream, I cannot be certain that the dream is mine, as I may merely be the only character necessary for another’s telling of the story.

In a song I know, a poet speaks of a departed loved one who appears to him in a dream, and yet, he must awake before he recalls that visitor’s death. Who then dreamed the dream? For the waking poet knew his love was dead, while the dreamer knew not this? And oft in dreams there is a de ja vous that rustles in the mind but loses resonance completely in the rush of a day. I once dreamed about a place I loved in youth, and as I awoke, I felt a strong sense of regret in not having spent more time there. Yet moments later, I came to recognize that there never was that place I loved.

About this poem

A lyrical poem about dreams from a short story and with commentary.

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Submitted by EugeneOsowski on January 10, 2022

3:51 min read

Eugene Osowski

Retired grant writer & Schoolteacher more…

All Eugene Osowski poems | Eugene Osowski Books

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    "Beyond the Ruins" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 8 Aug. 2022. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/117340/beyond-the-ruins>.

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