At night, dreams flash by like slide shows.
But the frames are alive and move to a ghostly cadence.
Figures of the past dancing in and out of the picture
In cinematic jump cuts.
A dimly lit flicker of nonsequiturs.
A woman I once loved and lost appears and speaks softly,
And the only song I can hear is my own sorrow.
Then, flash -- the scene changes,
Like someone flicked the carousel
To a rural homestead, with Mestizo hired hands in tow,
A clan of people so poor
They only know essentials.
And the sky over the homestead
Turns from a deep cool blue
To a swirling cold gray.
Twin tornadoes dig viciously into the northern horizon.
A woman in the kitchen, a grandmother,
And a man in overalls, a grandfather,
Gather us, hired hands and all,
To crawl into the cellar.
But I can't take my eyes off the storm,
Even as they call and call for me.
The twisters draw closer and closer,
And the only song I can hear is my own madness.
Then, flash -- the scene changes.
And I hear the suburban concerto of an old friend,
A boy too privileged to know anything of essentials,
An innocent heir to a soiled fortune.
And in my trance I've forgotten that he no longer exists.
But the lyrics linger in the dream theater
As we down ancient beers in honor of the lost day.
And the only song I can hear is his naivete.
Then, flash -- the scene changes
To a dingy room and the flicker
Of an old TV set, black and white,
The kind you have at the beginning
And the end of your life.
I'm alone, watching the ghostly parade.
And the only song I can hear is my anger.
Copyright 2007, by Jon Gregory. Written in 2000.