The Dreaming Brain

26 April 2016

It’s ages since I read these poems, written way back in 2001 whilst I was still living in Johannesburg. I’d already published two of them but was unsure about the other three but I think they stand the test of time.

I heard a poet say
is not about meaning
words are like objects
They have shape and size
To realize
the dreaming brain
Which dreams on
The words that come
that go
And so…

I let the fingers do the talking
As my mind is walking
the landscape
of my mind
A quantum world
Where words are this
and then they’re that
sometimes even
words are thin
and then they’re fat
stretched out
they reach from me to you
as through
a sieve that lives
inside my head

I read

That once
the word is planted
rooted in the mind
the words are chanted
like a mantra
round and round
the words they go
as though
a seed
flies through the air
and lands
upon the ground
and sprouts
then flies
from mind to mind

A meme
is what they call it
there is no way
to forestall it
Once it lodges
In the mind
The words are cast
As if in concrete
So one day
They meet
They talk
They greet
They ask of this and of that
Of words made thin
And words made fat
Words so round
Words so square
Words that pile up
In the air
Like clouds
That write across the sky
That soar so high
That fly
From lip to lip
From ear to ear
And there to there
The dreaming brain
Dreams on
And then
the words
are gone.

Johannesburg, Friday, August 17, 2001


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