ave you ever dreamed while standing up? How about while standing down? And how do you know that you aren’t dreaming this very instant? You could just think you’re reading this. Or I might think you’re reading it because that happens to be the dream of any writer, to be read. Maybe you are actually a hopeful figment of my dream. And what if, simultaneously, I were a wishful part of yours? Have you ever dreamed that you were dreaming? And in that dream you had a dream? What if all this talk of dreams causes you to fall asleep and dream?

I might not be real in your world. Only in mine. What if we are each of us alone, dreaming our dreams, living our lives that we believe have substance? What if it’s all a hoax and none of this exists? My words. Your view. Your vision — what if that is but a vision? The fantasy of someone else? What if I am in your mind, and your mind is in another’s mind, and that mind does not exist? Or ceases to?

Oh sure, you can rap your knuckles on your head and hear an echo. Least, I can. But does that echo have an echo? And is there any pair of ears to hear it? You see, I can succumb to astronomical conjectures. I can make myself believe that you’re as subjective as a donut hole. Or even doubt my presence because reality is as ethereal and speculative as fiction, isn’t it?

There’s a single-file line for those who disagree. Next to the line containing those who would like a refund of their penny for my thoughts. I don’t give refunds (there’s a sign on the wall, beside the sign that asks you to please wash your hands before reading).

I imagine what I’m trying to say is that it’s common for the train of thought to leave the station without you aboard. We sometimes get caught up in reveries, sidetracked by musings and idle or minor preoccupations. The worst consequence of a total stupor would be to space out to the extent that you forget to breathe. And then there is the embarrassing degree to which you would drool out of the corner of your mouth.

Seriously, I don’t recommend that you allow it to progress to that level. Maintain some amount of awareness and dignity to avoid walking into trees or poles, stepping on toes, plunging into holes, elbowing the elderly by accident . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Huh? Sorry. I must have drifted off someplace.

Where was I? Uhhhh. Give me a sec to collect my thoughts. (Get back here! Now! I mean it!) Oh yes. In addition to a couple of new poems, one inspired by a captivating forest photo, I present two Gothic selections I’ve been saving (okay, one was published in an E-zine called Ghosts And Haunts).

Ah, chuckleberries! I think I’ll write a poem about somebody who lives almost entirely in their thoughts (I’ve got to stop doing that).

May the verse carry you away on a “head trip” of intrigue or wonder or astounded confoundery. And best of luck finding your way back!


A pale figure paced betwixt the rows

Her hands a thornish stem did clutch

The dress she wore was black and flowing

Translucent features revealed too much


In reverie the young woman approached

A block of stone at the head of a grave

How sorrowfully did she place her offering

Not even the flower’s life could she save


And yet, a dead rose seems fitting tribute

For the memory of one in life she had wronged

By giving affection, her hand to another

When her love to Dominic belonged


Misspoken thoughts, a simple quarrel

Had escalated out of control

Mere words can vanquish an entire army

Can lead to heartache, a broken soul


A friend was waiting with open arms

To convince she was better off with him

Confused, she allowed herself to settle

For betrothal based on a whim


Dominic vowed not to live without her

And plunged a blade into his chest

Inert she found him — heart gouged, unbeating

His body was laid to rest


In life she haunted her lost love’s tomb

In death her ghost must do the same

Forever reliving her own demise

The moment she cried out his name


Kneeling above where he reposed

Gripped by an icy last embrace . . .

A spirit returned to claim his beloved

Absorbing her warmth, he kissed her face


The stem was thrust into her breast

Like a dagger’s point to end her pains

She crumpled bereft, then joined him adorned

By the spilt rubied facets of her veins.

brain soup

I tend to let my intellect wander

Over the edge and beyond the brink

Till it disappears like a candle’s spark

And I’m no longer able to think

I like to wave goodbye to reason

Pour my brain soup down the drain

It’s wondrously unconscionable

I do love to go insane

For this isn’t an idle daydreamer’s trance

Nor a temporary phase

I’m not in a fugue, it’s my mental state

I am often in a daze

Unbound by bland convention

I don’t care what others do

My heart skips a beat to my own drum

Then undrops the other shoe

If stretched too far, genius will snap

Or exceed its psychic grip

Yes, it’s possible to think too hard

And be crushed by a pensive slip

In the absence of your marbles

When your wrinkles come undone

And lead to much detachment

Just relax and have some fun

For the interest of Science

It is a habit to hypothesize

But I blat at that, my theory

Spouts the need to lobotomize

One must contemplate abstractions

And ponder to extremes

When endeavoring to lose one’s mind

In pursuit of what it seems

Won’t you join me as I ramble

Through the murky fog of mull?

Let us gather wool to meditate

And unhone our wits to dull

Senseless banter is a blessing

True ignorance be blissed

Come and clear the mind of clutter

Let all logic be dismissed.

the voice

The voice made me do it

Not voices, mind you

Just one

This singular nagging annoying voice

That never shuts up

A maddening clamoring incessant rant

My thoughts

I’m not crazy . . . just a little insane

We all are, I think

Or the voice does

I can never be certain

Is it me or a presence?

A separate entity, like I’m possessed?

Sometimes I imagine

A priest flicking holy water in my face

Reciting words to drive out the demon

From my soul

But what if it’s me?

What if it’s who I am?

What if I’m the only one here?


We all make mistakes

Isn’t that what makes us human?

Then I have bit off a humongous hunk

Of humanity today

He shouldn’t have said that

She shouldn’t have let him

The others shouldn’t have laughed with them

At me

There was red splashed everywhere

All over the elevator walls and floor

The ceiling too

All over me

When I whipped out my knife

Weren’t they surprised?

Worked like a charm

Carried for protection from the world

Because I don’t fit in

I’m not one of them

I’m just me

And it’s me against them


I don’t know why I’m sharing this

You won’t understand

You’re one of them and they never do

I live inside my head

It’s where I feel safe

Where no one can touch me —

Shout or lie or hurt or hate!

I’m in control

Out there I have never been, before today

My existence might seem limited

Small and cramped, insignificant to you

But it is boundless; I never get bored

Like a writer always conjuring

A philosopher ever supposing

A reader, peeping at other lives

The voice is my narrative

Thoughts are my eyes

And I am content

With the privacy, the disconnectedness

Of my own little world.

Immortal Kiss

It was my heart a bandit robbed

So late one eve, well after Midnight

As church bells tolled a dismal hour

A blissful scamp would steal my sight

For I could see no other man

Nor concentrate on other things

Immortal kissed, he claimed my love

I lost the promise morning brings

And so I wandered every gloaming

Into the twilight world of sadness

Where once I slept and woke at day

There could be only joy or madness

Where it was there I met my doom

This life held nothing but despair

With reckless strides I dared the gloom

All hope was lost, I didn’t care

Inviting evil to exploit

The barren husk that once was me

His cape was black, his eyes were coal

He stroked my neck in ecstasy

His lips brushed mine as if aflame

That touch affected me to quake

My body head to toe was strummed

And I was helpless but to shake

Then did he bare such wicked teeth

Which pierced like dirks into my vein

A pair of matching wounds would bleed

Emblazoning a mortal pain

With roguish grace he sipped at length

The bitter sweetness of my pulse

As I collapsed in his embrace

Until my body must convulse

He laid me to the earth so soft

There would I heave a final breath

I lay a frozen state of slumber

Like Sleeping Beauty, pale as death

But then at dusk my corpse arose

The trance was shed, replaced by greed

This thirst I felt surpassed emotion

I had but one intensive need

To quench the lust within a bite

Eternal passion could not die

The vain and selfish hunger spent

Out slipped a teardrop from an eye

And still I mourned for what was lost

For all that I would never know

My broken heart, my tainted blood

Had caused the evil man to woe

Now both of us still haunt the night

Confined to hours that others sleep

No peace exists for restless souls

Who stroll undead the darkness deep.

Photo By M.A. Walters


in the midst of moss

How I’ve stumbled through life without a clear map

In so many directions and pitfalls at once

While deep in my heart, always knew what I wanted

Life hurtled its hurdles and left me a dunce


There’s a yearning, a wistfulous mustering call

That speaks to me over the error of ways

Ofttimes I can hear it, although it be soft

I’ve been meaning to answer it one of these days


To that end I embarked on a journey of the soul

An adventure to seek all I let slip away

Those dreams never realized, ambitions too lofty

The secret desires I was too shy to say


There are so many lives that one person can live

Much more than a cat’s worth, I’m telling you now

It’s the fool who lets time pass without ever trying

And a pity to miss what the mind won’t allow


So I set off to capture that youth I had squandered

And follow the footsteps I neglected to forge

For being too timid, for being distracted —

Believing the lies from the lips of the scourge


I have seldom been lucky, so as fortune would have it

The forest that beckoned was enchanted and dark

Shades of emerald and willow and moss were abundant

I plunged beyond boughs on an exuberant lark


I rushed and I gushed, I cavorted at whimsy

Unfettered and glorious, expediting with haste

To dance with the nymphs and frolic with sprites

I could live there forever, not a moment to waste


Until in its crux, at the pith of this jungle

I found myself trapped and unable to tread

Moss coated the branches, it clung to the bark

I stood in the thick of a deepening dread


The plants didn’t creep yet were spooky and dangled

A chill made me tremble and gulp just the same

I was lost at the core of a breathtaking place

And quivered from a phobia that I couldn’t name


It was simply a sense that I’d be swallowed up

Engulfed by the forest, sprouting roots like a tree

That the moss would overwhelm who I truly was

I’d forget there was more of the world to see


Blood of regrets stained drooping sad limbs

Like shaggy teardrops of hanging loss

That surrounded me in that needled enclave

Far from home in the midst of moss


Any wood has its phantoms, invisible dangers

A surrounding of eyes and the pulsing of beasts

It is fear that alerts us of which we must listen

Proceeding with caution to our wests and our easts


If I wasn’t afraid, I’d have stayed in that garden

Been tangled again by the bonds of restraint

From restricting myself or impeded by others

Anchored too long in a fairytale faint.

~ Published ~
June 16, 2011

Spread The Word

Related Books

A humorous and serious collection of poems, prose and song lyrics by Lori R. Lopez, author of CHOCOLATE-COVERED . . .

A collection of very unusual verse, ranging from wacky to dark to narrative. Lori R. Lopez writes her . . .

A rich gathering of poetry with a dismal twilight atmosphere, a brooding nature, an eerie tone . . . . .

This dark, silly, and serious sequel to KEEP THE HEART OF A CHILD and THE QUEEN OF HATS . . .

A part of Poetic Reflections: The Column by Lori R. Lopez

You might also enjoy . . .