Friday Poetry by James Goertel. Violins and Dreaming the Dream of a Woman

Friday Poetry by James Goertel. Violins and Dreaming the Dream of a Woman

VIOLINS and DREAMING THE DREAM OF A WOMAN from James Goertel’s new poetry collection, Under The Same Moon, explore some of the more difficult realities that come with relationships as they mature and the challenge of confronting truths when it might be easier, kinder, gentler not to confront them at all. 

Friday Poetry by James Goertel

“The Knight’s Dream”, 1655, by Antonio de Pereda


They hear violins;
men holding unborn sons,
barren mothers
bathing ghosts,
biting at the soft cloth
not sewn 
while threads of melody
now and then
wake them
to the shiver of rain,
clouds which only come at night
in a room where candles
keep a vigil for
what is to become of them,
what will never come;
the supple skin turned rose
under autumn’s small blanket
but a warm wish
from their lips
belying the
blue, cold kiss
of dawn after dawn
waiting the day
like any other day,
like every other day;
listening together, alone
through windows of a house,
not a home,
refusing sunlight,
lying in wait
for dusk’s
tired glow and its
mask for the making
to walk without notice
through black grass
beneath the charcoal arms
of branches
cradling a lullaby
above their whispered prayers;
its cotton rattle,
its plush record
never reaching a heaven
painted bright red

which bleeds
an angel, an owl,
a winged messenger
bringing another unbroken night
without a cry or cause
to shake them
from the same dream
of drowning
where no water dances
to the music
of violins.



Dreaming the dream
of a woman

contemplating a sea change,

consulting clouds for recognizable
shapes to interpret as signs,

convincing herself she will no longer tell
herself lies as she lies
next to me

as I dream the dream of a woman
already awake.



James Goertel. Under The Same Moon

James Goertel. Under The Same Moon


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Born in North Dakota, James Goertel spent twenty years working in television for ABC, NBC, and ESPN, among many others in the U.S. He currently teaches writing at Penn State. Carry Each His Burden (2011) was his fiction debut. Each Year an Anthem (2012) was his poetry debut. With No Need for a Name (2012) and Self Portrait (2013) are his follow-up collections. His debut novel Let the Power Fall will be published in 2014.

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