Tag Archives: Dreams

Waking Up



Yesterday, Chicken Soup for the Soul’s newest edition Dreams and the Unexplainable came out. I happened to be going through my junk mail and found a notice that there was to be a podcast of selected pieces from the book today.  I tuned in and was astonished to find my story “Waking Up” was the first one that was presented.   You never know what the day is going to bring.  Here is the link:


Savoring Flavoring

Remember Dagwood making those midnight trips to the fridge, piling his “Dagwood sandwich” high with most things edible that came into his vision?  Or slumber parties where you tried to do the same and everyone ended up ill, to you mother’s great chagrin?  We crave the memories almost as much as the tastes, and perhaps this is what continues to drive us out into the night from our warm beds—exploring the hidden depths of our refrigerators for something special to savor. 


Midnight Light

I wear darkness like a second skin.
It is the cloak that hides my midnight sin
as I make my way, barefooted, through my house.
Silent, lest I wake my dogs or spouse.

This way I know most well and so I bridge
in seconds that long gap between my bed and fridge.
Pull open that snug door and hear the plop
first of the rubber gasket, then the top

of the carton that has been my goal.
Spoon out its richness without benefit of bowl.
This darkness both of me and of the night
something the fridge dispenses with its light

as tears of joy and guilt and pleasure stream
down cheeks distended with this chocolate dream.
For minutes, I stand caught up in the hold
of this trio of pleasures: chocolate, creaminess and cold.

Until some motion jolts me from their grip.
I feel its pressure at my shoulder and my hip.
My spouse rolls over, shattering my dream
of midnight tryst with frozen cream.

Its chocolate savor is one that I try to keep
as I roll over once again to seek my sleep.
Whatever course my next dream serves, I’ll try it.
For I’ve already been one long day on this diet!



The prompt today was savor. (Yes, you have perhaps read this poem before.  I wrote it three years ago.) The photos were harvested from the Internet.

Overworked or Labor Shirked?



Overworked or Labor Shirked?

It’s hard for me to find the middle
between hard labor and the fiddle.
Work? I either overdo it
or endeavor to eschew it.
Work all day and then all night,
being very erudite—
putting words down on the page,
imprisoned in my muse’s cage.

Perhaps I fear my distant past
when good work habits didn’t last
and days were spent in dreaming or
novels read behind closed door—
midnight radio a chance
for fantasies to spin romance.
Whole days stretched as though to catch
an errant dream of true love’s match.

I feared such days were sloth, and yet
perhaps they were just roads to get
to the place where I would tell
the stories that I knew so well
because I’d lived them first in dreams
or days just bursting at the seams
with doing nothing but living life—
its pleasures, problems, romance, strife.

First the doing at my leisure,
then the writing, and the seizure
of all the details of the past
that, once down on paper, are made to last.
Overworked or over-lived,
life first collected, then finely sieved.
Panned like gold to find the treasure—
leisure and work in even measure.

Overworked” is the prompt word today.




You hide yourself in shadows deep
to watch me as I fall to sleep.
Half-lidded, with your sleepy stare,
you cup my cheek and stroke my hair.
I do not know as I fall deeper
that you stalk this drifting sleeper.

Then just as I do not resist,
you give my hair a painful twist.
I try to jerk awake but fail.
I tense my muscles, fight and flail,
but I cannot escape your grasp.
I call for help, I moan and gasp.

Sir Nightmare, from where do you come
with death knoll beat on ragged drum?
I hear its pulse now through the day.
At every hour, it sounds the way
back to the horror of the night––
a pathway to that final fight

when I will mount at last that steed
that nightly stands to do its deed
to carry to oblivion
this sleeper off to meet her kin.
That father lost, those lovers three
who wait for my delivery.

Is this nightmare just a dream––
a mere digression from the stream
of conscious thought––a nightly swim
through a fantasy most grim,
or a window showing me
an inevitability?

(The photo is intended only as an illustration and has nothing to do with the person pictured!!!)


Rope Ladder

Rope Ladder

You call out from the island of your sleep,
each word at first garbled,
as though caught in quicksand.

Beside you in this room,
I waken to your shouted words:
“Is there any window in this room?”

and I am given ingress to your dreams,
even as each new early morning declaration
becomes a strong sure stroke towards your escape from them.






The city lights are tempting–each theater and store,
but when my outer life is rich, my inner life’s a bore.
Do I want to create my life or should it create me?
And which is which?  I do not know. Which helps me most to be?
I guess I need a balance, but each choice is a trap.
While I think it over, perhaps I’ll have a nap.
Sometimes the truth is found in dreams. Perhaps that will work now.
But once the “what” occurs to me, I’ll have to dream the “how.”
I dream empty buildings and abandoned avenues,
stores filled with pretty dresses, refrigerators, shoes.
Wind through broken windows and grass through broken walks.
All those empty radios where no one ever talks.
While somewhere in the country, away from smog and fumes
those busy cities of the past are sealed away in rooms
writing morning pages and playing with their dogs,
recording things they used to do in their daily blogs.
If I don’t join the city, if I choose to be free,
perhaps the busy city will choose to come join me!



Dream World: The Dream That Changed My Entire Life

I have written about dreams so frequently over the past four years, that in place of once again writing about them, I’m going to give you two links. Here is my very favorite dream photo  https://judydykstrabrown.com/2014/10/10/dreamy/ (and under the photo on that link, there is another link to my very favorite dream—one that literally changed my entire life.