Sweeney’s Dream Flight to the Juniper Tree of the Furthest Limit

A somewhat apologetic note to the reader: the following is an experiment on my part; what little poetry I’ve published here has been rather different. Written deep in the night in a bit of a blur with all the perhaps too obvious (or not) echos and influences whirling about in my head, and polished up in the morning, which is how these things usually come to be, I suppose. Enjoy.


When you sleep into the dream world, you might—might—see me. Spit three times in your left
Hand—or is it the right one?—and make sure. Abjure.
Wake it up, lit. Take your heart’s writ, tear, and sprinkle
The bits of the words on the tip of your tongue, encausticate them. Honey’s a fix, sure, but
Some wounds, they only take their mirrored selves—a lesson?
Others, warm milk and honey, perhaps. The bees, they know, ask ‘em, but take mind,
They’re liable to sting, even, perhaps, in a dream. Or not.
If you wake up, and you’re already smiling, take it as a token,
A very good sign. Not the sort that leaves you flat-backed and singed—not that good.
St. Patrick’s Purgatory, the wet stones traprock, blink and you’ll miss them, the good folk there—
Well, he said. Some days sure it don’t rain. Though this damp don’t help your cold none, son.
Cut and burn, your labors pass. Wind on the weary uplands, up and out.
What you saw, anyway, was me in the stars, swinging the scythe, harvesting
Sounds and portents. Now we’re away on the far ends, the utmost limit,
And a scraggly juniper tree at the start of old field succession, digging roots
Into the old star stuff, left alone. The heavens. Man, it’s deep, deep I say.
Straight from that hunkered down isle within an isle, to that bower, I took, mad Sweeney beside,
And sheared all day, found rest under that tree. Sweeney flew on. Now, stick around, we’ll
See all that, and see what we see, so. Prop your eyes open, sleep, and dream.

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