Dream Time 1


I’m working on a series of poems based on dreams. The draft is tentatively titled, Dream Time.

For years I didn’t dream. Oh, I know I did. Science can prove we dream. I just didn’t remember them at all. When my doctor put me on a new medication, a surprising side effect was very vivid dreams. Colorful dreams, strange dreams, confusing dreams, and beautiful dreams. I loved this unexpected gift, and so I have been working on cultivating how to recall dreams. We all know that dreams are quickly lost upon awakening. If they aren’t written down or recalled consciously, they float back to where they came from.

I’d like to share one of these dream poems today. This poem is loosely based on a very strange dream I had about chasing a bus. It was very disorienting to say the least. Of course, I checked dream meanings online, and I read that to dream of missing a bus is a very common dream. It tells of someone not sure of the path in which they are headed or if they missed an opportunity by hesitating, or even perhaps that they are faltering in a relationship. But none of these fits my dream of being lost in a city I know but looking totally different. A city in which no one can tell me its name or the direction in which they are heading. Please remember the poem is not a literal retelling of the dream as a journal would do. It is a poem and thus a product of the imagination.

The Missed Bus

Dream Time 1  ~  The Missed Bus

The missed bus
pulls away
from the curb,
picking up speed
faster than I can run.

In my sleep I am able
not only to run fast
but shout loudly enough
in a stranger’s voice
that might be heard
if only the driver
would catch
a glimpse of me
in the mirror
as I chase
the departing bus
on a street
I don’t know,
in a direction
of which
I am unaware.

Running so fast,
until my voice
gravels to a rasp,
my legs and arms
feather darkly
and suddenly lift up.

I am flying
above the bus

waiting for it
to stop or even slow,

but it speeds on
its course.

Sailing down
I see it is empty,
hurtling fast
unguided, and
with lowering wings
I fly into the open
side window,

my fingers emerging
from dusky feathers

I grasp the wheel
in desperation,
my foot able
to hit the break.

The stop is sudden,
my head rolls
forward fast
into the glass.

Only silence,
and absolute

the wind
speaks of
I can’t
quite hear.

I awake
in my bed, heart
head throbbing,

in the tall tree
the crow
from his branch.
Even he is silent
for once.

Morning starts
to erase the night,
and the mist
begins to thin
in parts.

A new day
is waiting.


The Crow by Oana Stoian, (c) 2010

The Crow by Oana Stoian, (c) 2010

27 thoughts on “Dream Time 1

  1. Pingback: Dream Time 2 | A Poet in Time

  2. Mary I think this is your best poem to date. It made me think deeply about why im trying to catch a bus going nowhere and being driven by no one whwn I could fly there instead. Why when I hit my head against the glass do I not realize that the bus is holding me in when I need and can fly, why do I comply? Love tnis poem. May I print it for framing in my home?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve had dreams for years, but they’re usually about something on my mind that day. I’ve heard some dreams are due to stress. This was an interesting dream, and I think it’s a good idea to write a collection of your dreams. Well done. :)— Suzanne


  4. oops, I sent a comment before saying: hmmm, that is a great idea to write mini-stories out of dreams I’ve had. Thanks for the inspiration!


    • How nice to hear from you, Vera. Dreams are unique to each of us but people around the world have looked for commonalities and meanings. My poems are just that–a way to use part of a dream as a poem prompt. This isn’t a literal recalling. I use present tense because dream time is in present tense when it happens and dream time is eternal and timeless. Magic time.


  5. I never wrote about dreams even though I have always had very vivid and long dreams including series on the same subjects. I am skeptical of the simplistic explanations about dreams. Dreams are such deeply individual experiences that I doubt they can be aligned in categories applicable across the board to everyone. The same type of dream can have different meaning for different people. For instance whenever I wrote some notes about any of my most interesting dreams I always wrote in the past tense.


  6. What an intriguing and frightening dream! You write it so vividly and I felt I was with you. I dream often lucid dreams and I caught myself in your dream questioning if I should try to get in and stop this bus…very interesting indeed! Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I am truly honoured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Please remember this is a poem. The dream is part of the whole but poetic imagination is the other half. It’s not a journal or memoir. A poet uses material as a beginning. What it ends up as is often quite a surprise, even to the poet! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read your poem Dream Time 1 – The Missed Bus, about your dream of your missing the bus, one unguided and without direction. It is even more profound that the bus miss you. An illustration I read recently used the bus in an analogy showing the difference between knowledge, understanding, and wisdom: “Imagine you are standing in the middle of a road and a bus is coming toward you. First, you recognize that it is a bus-that is knowledge. Next, you realize that if you remain standing there, you will be hit by the bus-that is understanding! So you jump out of the way of the bus-that is wisdom! Little wonder the Bible emphasizes the need for us to “safeguard practical wisdom.” It means our very life!” That is true guidance and direction!


  8. Thank you, Mary. I haven’t used dreams in my own writing per se. I have a black book on my bedside table and if I dream I wake up, record it fast and then do a quick sketch or watercolor of its main element(s). Basically, I’m creating a visual/narrative dream journal. I’m a bit of an insomniac, so getting up and working in the middle of the night is not out of the box for me. 🙂


  9. Cool concept, the poetry series based on dreams. It’s like reversing the literal with the symbolic during the creative process. 🙂 The poem itself was vivid and carried me with it.

    Have you ever tried breaking your dreams down into objects seen and seeing how each translates in the subconscious via www[dot]dreammoods[dot]com? That’s the site I always go to each morning after a dream. It’s given me a lot of insights about my own emotions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love how you captured the lucid, eerie feeling of your dream, Mary. My heart started to pound as I experienced your images. A friend of mine, Norman Green, kept a blog for years on his dreams at https://normanlgreen.wordpress.com/ He wrote them down each night and what always struck me was how, like you, he wrote in the present tense. When I write my own dreams down in the little book beside my bed, I write in present tense, as well. Dreams seem to take place in the eternal now, even in the retelling. Isn’t that marvelous!

    Liked by 1 person

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