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bad dreams – dverse

April 15, 2014

Sages and priests scare the little ones
’till dreams of blossoming humanity
Leave them periously alone

Chase them out of bed, send them paddling down the hall
Whisper “Dad, I have bad dreams, can I come in”
A prayer amidst the solemn darkness of the house.

They crawl between us, nestled starlings in the sheets
And make no peep, secure beneath baracading blankets
Softly snore, fears fled a thousand miles away

It’s just masks we tell them, only masks
But we too fear, recognize the harbingers
Of the choices children must someday make.


From → dverse, fiction, poetry

  1. Whisper “Dad, I have bad dreams, can I come in”
    A prayer amidst the solemn darkness of the house.

    I too am unnerved by some masks, even as an adult. It is easy to relate to the kids inthis poem. EExcellent prose, and the above lines really jump out at me.

  2. I found this really captivating. Loved the description of the children nestling in bed with their parents to find peace from the bad dream.

  3. A very well thought out and written poem. Great read.>KB

  4. Mm…yes, I have my fears about what the future holds for my children…but love the fact that I am still able to soothe THEIR fears now (at least most of the time)

  5. Yes you captured the same thing here that I was writing about on Mark’s post. That scary period when children once so much a part of your life, your hourly concern then have to leave, make drastic and important decisions which will define the rest of their lives.

  6. Glenn Buttkus permalink

    Lovely, & it rings the bells in parent’s heads; I miss not knowing exactly which image you were using as prompt; a couple come to mind.

  7. Those starlings in the sheets did it for me, too – a very evocative image! How I wish we could keep them safe and banish those nightmares forever, but we have to let them fly.

  8. Bad dreams come in all phases of life..”nestled starlings in the sheets” adore this line
    feeling protected in the nest..until they have to fly on their own wishing them a safe journey.

  9. it’s good when there’s a warm place to flee to when fears scare us… and they will remember that place of comfort when they’re grown up

  10. Excellent Bill, I saw a link between our two poems today, children and nightmares. Well done too.

  11. We give our children safety and comfort from bad dreams…but inside we also know that fear & crossroads they must face one day ~

  12. yeah – it is scary… ya don’t know realize how intimidating the world is, until you’re actually out there… I’m a young adult still looking for my place… seems like just yesterday I would go to my mom’s bed when I had bad dreams… smiles

  13. the harbrings of choices there will one day have to make…
    one of the scariest parts of raising kids…it is that they will make those decisions
    and how we raise them to face those decisions is huge…
    its good too they know they can retreat to you for help
    if needed…they will need that grown too…

  14. ‘nestled starlings in the sheets’ – what a vivid description!
    I remember my much younger sister doing this, when she and I used to share a bedroom. And yes, childhood fears are a much more innocent precursor to the fears we as adults try to protect them from.

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