Poems and Phantasms

Posts tagged ‘dream’

“The Invitation” ~Oriah Mountain Dreamer

“Path to the summit of Mangere Mountain in Manukau City, New Zealand” Ingolfson, 2008. (Public Domain)

The Invitation by Oriah
It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved

Counting Caterpillars

How many days, do you think

until the hatching happens

and will the yearning end

when the flying finally comes


The hunger of the wondering

grows fatter with the waiting

and soon there will not be enough

to feed the dreams upon

I Dreamed Of God in a Paper Hat

Author: Julia Drinnenberg


I dreamed of God in a newspaper hat

with a silhouette face like the PBS logo.

I couldn’t make paper hats at the time

so it was as so much magic.


He was flat of course

being a two-dimensional head

and deep in conversation with someone stage left.

They didn’t seem to notice me.


I think there was talk of a boat because

I remember wondering if the paper hat would get wet.

You might be guessing at subconscious ark symbolism

but all I could think about were paper boats

because people do that too

so there must be something to it.


All I knew of religion was the Our Father

which we had to say every night

as a family

holding sweaty hands with my brother

in a circle on the sticky living room rug that smelled of dog.

The sacred and sacrilegious always do end up together.


What I remember best from Sunday school

is the bright colors on the postcard from my neighborhood friend

and how special I felt to be invited.

There might have been juice and cookies.

I asked a question

probably prompted by my dad

—see what they say about that—

and the teacher frowned.


I never belonged in places where people went like clockwork

and everyone played their parts and wore the right costumes.

They will say you can come in

but it’s not the same.

The invitations always get crumpled in the end.

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