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  • From Dream Poems for Lisa, in Distance: Dream Poem 1, and: Dream Poem 3, and: Dream Poem 4, and: Dream Poem 6, and: Dream Poem 7, and: Dream Poem 10
  • Richard Bausch (bio)

"I wrote these poems in late July and early August of this past summer, when my wife and daughter were visiting family in Canada. I was alone in the house, trying to get back into the swing of work on a novel and spending a lot of time reading and watching old movies. I cooked dinners for myself and kept the house and experienced that strange sense of being the only human noise in a collection of empty rooms. I discovered again that I am not bad alone, as long as that condition is not ongoing. I was trying to put some regularity back into my work habits.

"That week and a half, as usual, I spent a lot of time in the provinces past midnight. It was in night hours that I composed the poems. There were more than a dozen of them, and I considered them something to send only to my wife as a kind of morning greeting. But then I found satisfaction with the playfulness in them, and so I put the less idiotic few into a little series. This is not to say I tossed them off, nor do I mean to sound glib about the work itself. For me, poetry has always been the most demanding form of expression; my confidence as a writer is, I believe, healthily low, anyway. But regarding poems, I simply feel that my own efforts are seldom much beyond idiocy. I hope these are somewhat beyond it." [End Page 25]

  • Dream Poem 1
  • Richard Bausch (bio)

It rained hard all afternoon.A figure came from the curtain of it& knocked on the door.

It was you.You had a little girl in your pocket.You held her out to me.

We went inside out of the rain.The weather stayed outside.We sat together at the window

& watched it go away,Disconsolate, sad to miss us.But then you rose & followed.

I went to the door & calledBut you were too far.The rain closed over you.

The little girl ran after—She caught you,Throwing her arms wide,

Disappearing with youInto the curtain of rain.It ran down my face as I followed.

I said your name.The little girl called out mine.You turned with her,

& waited. I saw you,Far off in the rain.It took forever to reach you. [End Page 26]

Richard Bausch

Richard Bausch is the author of eleven novels, seven volumes of stories and, just out from LSU Press, a book of poems and prose titled These Extremes.

  • Dream Poem 3
  • Richard Bausch (bio)

I was in Ireland standingBy a lime-colored riverSwollen with rain.

You were on the other side& you beckoned to meWith a little wave of your slender hand.

But my feet were rooted to the ground,All my branches bending,Leafless, in the thrumming fall.

I was cold, & my trunk shivered.You smiled & turned, I thought, to go.There was a tree on that side, too,

Where I thought you'd placed your heart.Your heart was a radiance, but I saw thatIt was a little green-eyed girl, who waved to me

From the branches. She settled in your armsLike snow, & you held her & kissed her hair.You both sang softly to me without knowing

I could hear you over the roar & ruckOf the river. But I knew in my woodenHeart, like light coming to hills, that you

Had decided you would cross,Stepping carefully on the little stonesGreen with moss & held by the clear

Rushing there, to lie down together,Resting under the leafless branchesOf my arms, my crooked shade. [End Page 27]

Richard Bausch

Richard Bausch is the author of eleven novels, seven volumes of stories and, just out from LSU Press, a book of poems and prose titled These Extremes.

  • Dream Poem 4...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1548-9930
Print ISSN
0191-1961
Pages
p. 25
Launched on MUSE
2009-12-17
Open Access
No
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