In celebration of the e-launch day for Alison May’s brand new romantic comedy, Midsummer Dreams, I’m posting today on the theme of all things dream-related.
Alison has invited writing friends to blog on the following themes:
I had a dream…
I had a nightmare…
My dream for the future…
Me, being me, I thought I should write something poet-y, whilst vaguely – very vaguely – structuring it around the three points above, so here it is:
I had a dream… I’m drifting like a ditched chicken wrapper,
my bones picked clean of yesterday’s flesh and left,
yet free, lifting to float and fly, away, away, away
from the fight outside the Blower the police
are ignoring, from the bouncers leering
at the girls in the queue outside Velvet,
from the kebab shops and the cab rank;
over the racecourse, dancing up and catching
the climb of the visiting big wheel as it rises;
I crinkle a wink and grin at the lovers holding
hands at the top, candyfloss and hotdogs misting
with their shy-sweet second date touches;
she’s clutching the safety bar, him pretending
he’s not shit-scared, of heights, or anything.
If I could, I would bless them – I do,
anyway, and fly on.
I dream we all can fly,
safety rails or not.
I had a nightmare… One of those falling ones.
Old wives say if you hit the ground in your dream
you die – in real life. Time, rain, the weight of water
too big for my flimsy, it’s drenching me, weighting
me, dirty and sodden, the cackle-hard ground
spinning up to crack open my face.
Rust-clotted underbellies of the fairground rides
rear up like neglected dinosaurs in the mud,
aching and flaking brown to the rutted grass,
infected oil bleeds to the puddles and potholes.
I am bleached and wrecked – not flying, lung-punched.
There is no escape. There is no blessing to make
– I am litter, waste, voiceless. To be crushed.
But if I can only wake up – I’d take you with me…
Wake up! Wake up!
Not flying, not falling. Tonight we’re walking.
It comes to me, on the up-jolt of my toes’ bounce
on the dry wood of the Sabrina, the white lights
strung overhead like a giggle in this summer night sky,
same lights that sighed me home, chill wind numbing
my shins, late-night autopilot that November,
when drizzle flayed my hands like bleach.
Same nights frost clouded our breath, ice trails
on my cheeks. Me – and everyone around me;
students meandering, all smartphones and quick lips,
homeless ghosts, workday drones, lonely widowers
and PCSO’s, cyclists with no lights,
joggers in obscene lycra pants.
We’re all walking. Just moving along,
each step on the bridge vibrating our rhythm.
And the dream, it hits me like a iced lolly
daggered down my back, straight, red and sweet
from nape to small, spine-sucking me to the spot.
My dream is a real thing. A glitter-tipped kitten-ear thing,
a fluffy humbugs in the pocket of a favourite coat thing.
It’s a crumpled and clumsy and used up thing,
a comfort and worn cushions thing.
Not rubbish, but recycling.
My dream is a woman-made thing.
My dream is a swan on the Severn,
legs flapping like the clappers under the murk.
My dream is of every Ending being the first-kissed page
of our own best memoir – laughing loud in the face
of those who’d tear out our pages.
My dream is caught in the arc of that big wheel,
the reflections in the eyes of the second-date
kids brushing lips at the top for the very first time,
a first that makes them forget all their other firsts.
There is no flying. There is no falling,
there is no bloody breakage on the ground.
Our feet are steady.
The fairground will pack up and move on,
Pitchcroft’s sprinklers will tease up new grass,
dog walkers will, or won’t, scoop the poop.
And our dreams are tucked safe in our pockets,
with a soundtrack of traffic-echoed laughter,
tinny pop music and refugee gulls crying at twilight.
My dream for the future is real and permanent in our hands.
For anyone wondering, this poem bears no resemblance to the plot or setting of Alison’s novel! These are merely my mind’s own meanderings on dreamy things… The poem also mentions a few places in my hometown of Worcester – although the tourist board will not be sponsoring me any time soon! Pitchcroft is the racecourse, where the Fair sets up for a weekend a couple of times a year; Velvet is a nightclub; The Blower is The Horn and Trumpet pub; the Sabrina is a footbridge – which does indeed bounce as you step – over the river Severn. And yes, we do have swans – they scare me a little, the way they look at you.
Now, this novel: Alison writes what I think of as non-fluffy romantic fiction. This is about bigger stuff than shoes and handbags and why the boy hasn’t called for, like, 2 days after kissing the girl and letting her spill orange juice down his crisp white shirt, like, cos she’s, like, adorably clumsy. No, this is romance firmly rooted in the real world – with added Shakespeare, in this case. And she’s very funny too!
You can download the kindle edition of Midsummer Dreams here: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00XJOEJTM
About Midsummer Dreams
Four people. Four messy lives. One party that changes everything … Emily is obsessed with ending her father’s new relationship – but is blind to the fact that her own is far from perfect. Dominic has spent so long making other people happy that he’s hardly noticed he’s not happy himself. Helen has loved the same man, unrequitedly, for ten years. Now she may have to face up to the fact that he will never be hers. Alex has always played the field. But when he finally meets a girl he wants to commit to, she is just out of his reach. At a midsummer wedding party, the bonds that tie the four friends together begin to unravel and show them that, sometimes, the sensible choice is not always the right one.
You can find out more about Alison May and her books at. http://alison-may.co.uk/
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