November 11, 2009

Dreamworld (RWP #100)

For this prompt, we were supposed to use our dreams to help create poetry. I must admit that the instructions went a bit over my head, so I simply thought that since I have always been plagued with strange and vivid dreams, I would just write one down in poetry form. This is a pretty common dream for me...

Lost within hallways,
a maze of strange corridors
Careening off aimlessly.
Cold industrial grays with
Inky black corners.
Door after door,
too many to number,
I must open them all,
must find what I’m searching for.
I must, I must…

Each door that is opened,
a blank wall behind it.
More appear magically,
all life depending
on finding the right one.
Ears thrumming loudly,
buzzing white noise,
engorged with pure panic,
I must save - must rescue.
I must, I must…

Completely exhausted,
each movement impossible.
Maneuvering heavily through
thick gelatinous ooze.
Terror rising in shuddering
layers, horrible waves.
Breath shallow and strangled,
I must find the opening,
or Everything’s over.
I must, I must…

Attempting to speak,
To scream out for guidance.
Dry gluey lips and
Thick useless tongue only
allows unintelligible garbling.
As the hallway dissolves to
kaleidoscope prisms
Doors are now hidden,
But I still must continue.
I must, I must…

I now feel THEM behind me,
long fingers scrabbling.
Reaching out, plucking
my hair, arms, ankles,
Holding me fast.
Unseen enemies
halting my quest,
pulling me backwards
Into the abyss.
Too late, Too late…


  1. this goes with the spooky tale. I want to find someone and just yell boo!

  2. Wow, Cynthia, this one really grabs ones attention! Very eerie and very well told ~ I could feel the terror in your voice here. Wonderful!!

  3. You do a great job conveying the feeling that many of us have in dreams -- can't find, can't move, can't speak, can't escape. The maze of mind, or the existential labyrinth, is an enduring symbol, featured of course, in many myths and rituals. I like that this poem could be about someone's attempt to be rescued, or possibly also about her attempt to rescue someone/something else. And I like how you end the poem perfectly -- just as most dreams end -- just on the verge of annihilation or capture...

  4. Hi Cynthia,

    "unintelligible garbling", surely not! I'm glad this was your dream. Way too scary!

  5. I like spooky stuff. And you had me totally hooked

    skin dreams

  6. Great telling of scary dream material, Cynthia! love the way your italicized I must, I must highlights the intensity of the dream experience of knowing what must be done while experiencing the unfolding of action that prevents.

    Nicely told!

  7. Very viscerally described Cynthia. I really get the sense of a dream, not of the processed images, but of the temporal shifts and the mood, the urgency.

  8. I have to agree with David. I really identify with the urgency. The anxiety of trying to escape the pressure cooker is overwhelming and terrifying. This was a very compelling poem that I enjoyed reading. Thanks for sharing.

  9. "breath shallow and strangled" a very cutting and desperate line cynthia. you strong and vivd language throughout plays well with the opening image, sets off a very solitary and daunting environment for the words that follow. an enjoyable read on a very wet, noir day. -lawrence

  10. Terrifying, claustrophic, it depicts a fear of the abyss. I could identify with being trapped in a dream like that, Cynthia.

  11. A truly good piece of atmospheric writing. I have been in that place and recognized it immediately!

  12. Can only agree that the atmosphere you build is terrifying -- and with all the descriptions & stanzas you use "panic and terror" only once! I wonder if you could take out those words and still show the nightmare. I'm betting you could/would!

  13. Very vivid piece, although I must say that if I ever had a dream like this I may put off sleeping for a week or so.