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Thursday 23 February 2012
the first man and the last
I drop in on an Autumn night
and catch the cold wind in my fingers as it blows
before it blows the last dreams from the trees.
The dreams are dying, anyway, so any way you save them
is alright by me. Deep drifts of them,
the like of which I've never seen before,
lie piled against the ever-open kitchen door.
Some dreams are mine, have fallen from our trees,
but most are blown, have come here from our neighbours' grounds.
it's difficult to recognise them, which are which. I dream
my neighbours' dreams. No doubt my neighbours will dream mine.
I pick up one that lies beneath two cherry trees from which
the fruit is falling and in which there is a God-like shape that now
throws dreams into the air. I see him catch and throw them back
where there are birds that swoop and dive towards,
but never make it to the dreams, which in a moment
also become birds, black birds that fly towards the moon from which
no light has come, no light will ever come except in dream.
This is the orchard Adam knew where dreams are made accessible to those
who do not dream, who watch and wait and keep their minds awake.
And so the dreams still fall, and anyone can read the dreams. They are
like shadows on the mounting piles of snow. No need to enter in,
just wait for them to come and - in a moment - go.
The last dream comes and always is the same. The distant church
is dressed in snow which falls. Large sheets of it slide off,
slide down the walls, hang for a moment on the buttresses,
then slide some more, reminding me of how a woman might
undress. She leaves the garments where they fall. But yet,
what's changed is this: there is no wall. The church, divested
of its snow, becomes a prison. Locked within, the clergy are at prayers.
A monkey comes and puts a lighted match to this last dream.
The church goes up in flames, but in the way you know things in a dream,
I know that God is there, but cannot tell his form. A thousand shapes
are fluttering. They merge and part again. Some slide or leap and others
merely relocate, and one of them is God, but no man knows the which -
except, perhaps the monkey-man with match - the only light I've seen
this night, this day, this dream, which ever one is right. Dolls, I see,
both male and female, broken, on the floor, heads smashed or off.
Yet as the flames die down new dreams are born. I see them pile
against the ever-open, dream-caught, dream-catching kitchen door.