Tag Archives: dreams



Long thoughts linger in the shallows,
lollygag along the beach
where the tidal waters whisper
lisp and slur their primal speech

where the ebbing wavelets licking
cling a moment to the land
spit their spume, leave little riddles
and blanched shells that suck the sand

edges shift in fickle fractals,
zig damp earth with zags of brine…
though on strolls here in the shallows
bare feet seem to toe a line

as if taunting trekker troopers
swooping seagulls squawk and yell
why is every footstep schlepping
its old burden… parallel?

One quick glance over a shoulder,
the horizon’s still out there…
oh, to lightly walk on water
or to gull-glide through the air

perpendicular to margins
on imaginary paths
of green beckoning blue sparkles
above dreadful depths of wrath…

still I turn now, stop in stillness
water clear, ground safe below,
standing easy in the shallows
staring where I dare not go…

there’s a staying thing that anchors
to the habits, terror strong,
stronger than the heart’s desiring
though desire lives deep and long.



“…Earth laughs in flowers to see her boastful boys
Who steer the plough but cannot steer their feet clear of the grave….”
—-Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Hamatreya”.

Just outside my door, a little to the left,
beside the bottom step, I thought I heard
a crocus chuckle from a frost-heaved cleft.

A week or somewhat after that occurred
there was a laugh of daffodils along the pebbly walk.
Later, toting garden tools in my red wagon

how could I ignore those titterings of tulips,
giggling gladioli, snickering snapdragons and
a high-toned tee-hee from a blooming hollyhock?

Was this the earth laughing in flowers to remind
the maker of a private plotting once again
what ultimately is in charge, and what is not?

I shrugged and went indoors, only to find
not peace, not silence, but
the kalanchoe cachinnating in its pot.

Cognac and Emerson, before I went to bed,
made me this dream, from what Ralph Waldo said.



It is ten o’clock
and those with jobs tomorrow
are going to bed in lilac,
marigold, shamrock pajamas
hoping dreams will not bring
periwinkles, baboons wearing
lacy socks and beaded belts
or those terrible tigers
who fight in red weather.

A salty old vagabond
homeless and drunk,
asleep in his stiff boots,
snores, smacks his lips
to taste the movie playing
on the screen of his shut lids—
a dream of white nightgowns
descending spiral stairs
to kiss him goodnight.

In Connecticut, a poet
crouched over his business
necktie, blotter, desk,
dips his pen deeper, ever
deeper into the bottomless
pit of precious obscurity
to feed a hunger for
another definition of what
disillusionment is like.



(Translated from the French of Louise Labé)

As soon as I begin to drift anew
In my bed’s feathery soft cave,
Toward the restfulness I crave,
Sadness wanders off, dissolves in you.

Then I realize the good that I pursue
And sigh so loudly for, I hold engraved
In my own heart, and I am laved
With such fierce sobbing I could break in two.

O happy night all mine! O gentle drowse,
Sweet rest so filled with peace—
Carry on my dream as nights go by.

And if my loving soul is not supposed
Ever to have good things in truth, at least
Then, let me have them in a lie.

…………………………………….© Cynthia Jobin, 2014
SONNET IX (English)

Tout aussi tôt que je commence à prendre
Dens le mol lit le repos désiré,
Mon triste esprit hors de moy retiré
S’en va vers toy incontinent se rendre.

Lors m’est avis que dedens mon sein tendre
Je tiens le bien, où j’ay tant aspiré,
Et pour lequel j’ay si haut souspiré,
Que de sanglots ay souvent cuidé fendre.

O dous sommeil, o nuit à moy heureuse!
Plaisant repos, plein de tranquilité,
Continuez toutes les nuiz mon songe:

Et si jamais ma povre âme amoureuse
Ne doit avoir de bien en vérité,
Faites au moins qu’elle en ait en mensonge.

SONNET IX (French)

As noted before (see SONNET II and SONNET VIII in archives) many translations of Louise Labé’s poetry already exist–some almost transliterations, others keeping close to lexical meaning but with little attention to the petrarchan poetic form she employed. Because French poetry is primarily syllabic and English poetry more accentual, I have observed the sonnet rhyme scheme and meter, but not the syllabic counts. What I have attempted is to make a poem from a poem.
Source: 1556 text in Renaissance French, from François Rigolot’s
Louise Labé: Oeuvres Complètes.



We did not plan
aloud or far ahead
knowing how the envy of the gods
(as that of man) is
easily aroused.  We dreaded
ruining our odds.

We did, however, dream
asleep, awake
of moving on to something more–
from milk to cream
dry bread to honey cake
an after better than before.

We meant more life
just down the road.

Until the universe arranged
an otherwise, a knife
to heart, one morning to explode.
You died, and all was changed.

Instead of dreaming now
alone I let life simply be
the in and out of breath.

I greet its beauty, but allow
no wishful thought, no certainty

except, of course, for death.



—-The French author Honore de Balzac (1799-1850) said that to dream of
literary projects—even those one may never write—is to smoke enchanted cigarettes.

Ah, yes, Balzac, I am a smoker
of enchanted cigarettes, daydreaming
literary wonders I will never write.

Should we meet for a petit’ aperitif
some evening at Les Deux Magots
together we might watch our fragrant puffs

rise potently in cupolas of silken smoke.
Or am I thinking of another almost novel
someone almost wrote?  Not cupolas but

parasols, I think—gossamer ethereals
above our heads.  Was that your bright
idea or mine?  Garçon!  Another drink!

There’s time yet to convince those parasols
to be black bumbershoots in fog or
even morph to mushroom clouds.

We are too loud to listen to
a limit for our skies.  Soon enough
a would-have-been becomes a never-was.

What never saw the light is no more
unto dust than many a blighted text
the western welkin proudly shone upon.

Allons, tonight let us to airy somethings
be enthralled.  Just think if the abode of angels,
our firmament, had not been hatched at all.