R


R


I often remember another dream I had, even longer ago
when I was a child. I had dug a pit in the sand, on a beach.
I was trying to go as far down as possible. It worked –
I fell through a crack of red rock
as deep as the world.
Rushing down, I passed a mirror,
and for the briefest moment saw my own reflection, wherein –
horror! –
I was a werewolf.
I realise now that - to my younger self -
my face today, glimpsed in a mirror 
for less than half a short breath, might have struck me as lycanthropic.
Relatively grizzled; sprouting dark hair from cheek and chin.
Perhaps it was only my future appearance that startled me.

Right now, my prehensile rudder wrapped around some root or other,
way down in the crevasse, I can linger
and stare at that mirror.
Once more, the reflection parts from my reality.
In there, I am resplendent,
leonine.
Rose-coloured locks spring from every part of my face and head.
If, right now, I really am the werewolf I saw years before,
then perhaps this creature is some future incarnation -
a prospect to relish,
but I can’t hang here forever.
The rose lion and I tilt our heads towards each other in mutual recognition,
then I release my grip
to freefall again through the earth.

Geronimo!




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Since the first of April, I've been writing poems for each letter of the English alphabet. The poems are a sequence and you can read the first 17 parts on the links below:

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q

The letter 'R' was originally the Semitic letter 'Resh', in turn generally presumed to derive from an earlier pictogram for a face or head.

The dream I describe in the first half of this poem (as with the one about the sheep that featured in 'O') is one I really did have as a child - and the image of myself as a rose-and-blond lion-man is also drawn from a (much more recent) dream.

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