Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Day 17: The density of dreams is made from________

Today's prompt got me thinking about the way dreams are made of the ideas we are afraid to think about while we are awake.  They are where we work out the under workings (or back-end) of our emotional lives.  This idea got me thinking about how if towns could dream their dreams would be like muddy rainstorms that carry a towns history from one place to different place and how that shift would haunt a town.  One of the most famous stories about Sebastopol is the naming of the town.  The story has been told and re-told 100 different times.  But, the gist of it is that two guys got into a fight and one man ran into the general store.  The other (blocked from entering the store by the store's owner) stood outside for hours waiting for the other man to emerge. Passersby called it a standoff like the one that was then being held in Sevatopol during the Crimean War.  This draft reflects on this story.

A Storm-Minded Town

The density of dreams is made of mud
and rain.  The storms that can wash through a small town
and clear it of dread.  Waters so deep
and swift they roar muddy loud from far off
woods.  So strong they roll stones effortlessly.
Then, leave them stuck in the mud of desire.

Dreams are built of new lumber: still sticky
with sap, still fat with water  What you build
in dreams retracts--shows cracks--places where wind
licks clean.  This town dreams its name again and
again.  When the two men stood face to face
on the main road, they were up to their knees
in mud.  The dream (that airy house) is what
happened after: one man running away
into the general store the other following
but stopped at the door by the shopkeeper.
"You ain't coming into my store" he'd said.
So, instead the man paced the muddy street.
For hours his feet rutted the deep mud.
Until passersby named it: the battle
of Sevastopol after the standoff
with stubborn British troops. And the name stuck.
Now, we hardly remember the battle
or details about the standoff between
two men.  A story with the density
of a dream still travels down mud-swollen
creeks of our town when it rains hard enough
when we're up to our knees in the mud of
it searching for lost stones, houses built of truth.

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