Retrospective — A Dream

A Dream

Chemical waves
Shine on the ocean’s edge
Glowing through the night’s fog
Swirling about a young woman
Sitting on the grainy sand.

Her long hair
Whips around slumped shoulders
Hunched over slender white legs
Bent at their knees, her toes
Curling in the grainy sand.

A tall young man
Walks through the cold water
Lapping at his bare feet, jeans
Rolled up to his knees
Leaving footprints in the grainy sand.

Bony arms
Hang at his sides, hands
Shoved deep inside
Frayed blue jean pockets while the
Ocean waves seep into grainy sand.

“Follow me to the City,”
His head hanging below his shoulders,
“I need you to be with me.”
Green eyes plead with the girl
Staring at the grainy sand.

“I can’t follow you there…
I need you, too,
Believe me – but my heart
Belongs here,” next to the
Ocean, on the grainy sand.

Nodding, yielding, the young man turns,
Wraps his arms around his love,
“Good bye, then.” As he leaves, waves
Erase his footprints left in the grainy sand.

His black curls
Drip cold from the fog’s clammy arms
Swimming about the young man
Stumbling away along the grainy sand.

Tears start their slow
Slide from the woman’s hazel eyes,
Glistening round cheeks quiver, and the droplets
Break, seeping into grainy sand.

Chemical waves
Shine on the ocean’s edge
Glowing through the night’s fog
Swirling about two young lovers
Lost among the grainy sands.


The back story.

Originally written in April, 1984, the actual imagery came to me in a dream, hence the abstract title. I remember I wrote the entire first draft during a drama class at UC Santa Cruz. (Clearly, whatever play we were studying did not hold my attention.)

I was reflecting back on an intense relationship with a boy in the Monterey area, whom I had met before I had left for college. My journal reflects that the boy had finally moved down to the LA area about a month before this was written. I was concerned about him, and missing him as a romantic young college co-ed will do, even though he had never been my “boyfriend.” We had dated. I had felt I was in love. He had bigger dreams — he was a singer/songwriter/musician. I never did find out what happened to him as I never heard from him again after the move.

I revised the poem for another college class in June, 1985, and then yet again for this post. I always thought it would make a good ballad, but rewriting it now, I think it may be a little long and uneven to be interpreted in song. (All rights are reserved, however, so if I ever hear it on the radio believe me I will track you down!)