Recurring Dream Theme, Reflecting Mimesis by Penn Kemp

by Steven McCabe

As owl hoots through a spangled sky,

I slip from the dominant design of vision

to sleep doubling to dream, fallen into ear.

Atuned. Ear prints’ whispered lineage

alerts us to evolutionary danger even

as awareness expands beyond my scope.

Dropping off, all ears, I tune in, transform

visual illusion for glamorous aural chimera

wondering where Beauty disappeared in the clamour.

Duplicity entrances, the diversity of

possible beings that inhabit the world,

whose lives are played below our sight-

line. They know their path and do not

deviate. We who’ve taken wrong turns

over and over since the Neolithic watch

in wonder. And wonder how to return

to such simple complexities with intact

consciousness. The jewel in our crown,

that we know we know, we do not wish

to lose in merging with all that could be.

Night rustles outside our window, murmurs

and squeaks. Whimpers follow outraged

raccoon yowl. Orange and black streak

across the dark pane I can’t see through

into night creatures’ world, conjuring

interlaced smells of skunk, mouse, bat

disturbing our neighbour hound’s nose.

Scent leads a trail to territorial war, deep

enmities nurtured throughout the long wee

hours before dawn lifts that velvet cloth to

reveal grey, seeping shade back to clarity.

Daylight cicada notions begin threading a

brightening air. Dragonflies wing-web

the pond. Inside I still dream of prowling

tigress, White Goddess stalking the dark.

Penn Kemp is London, Ontario’s inaugural Poet Laureate.