The Dream of A Poet

I woke up with a start some time ago;
A very familiar path;
from sleep infused, in semiconscious state,
with dreams of the unpleasant,
into a slow and rude awakening.

Was it a mystery magician or
con artist, the evil one,
who managed to deprive me of my freedom;
usurp my own free will;
transport me where I never want to go.

And then, somehow it dawned on me that I,
apropos my own illusion,
had written words that weren’t exactly true?
I’m not sure how this is…
But missive written. For poets. How to write!


The anti-hero in my fated dream
insisted I capitulate
and turn my trade to more constructive ends
by which it sought the truth
of why I wish to make my dreams come true.

It asked me who I thought I was and then,
without so much as by
your leave, it pulled me back into oblivion.
It also didn’t hear me
when my stentorian protest made no sound.

It was a vision; a reverie that spoke
of fantasies; woolgathering.
It is, in truth, as truth is meant to be
none other than my conscience,
speaking of the will to write and dream.

If answer there is one, I do not know;
so often out of our control.
The only thing I have to say is this:
it’s always up to you.
Only you can judge what’s best … for you.

By your own best devices, you don’t need
to take advice from where
there is no guidance better than your own
… save rules, and even they
can be ignored once you have mastered them.

© 2012 John Anstie

First published on 16 January, 2012


This poem combines the subjects of the dream I had last night and certain aspects of my last blog post. The dream left me with a strong impression of a magician with magical, but evil powers and quite possibly a conspiracy that threatens the world of future times. I have written a synopsis of it in my notes on future project ideas, because I had strong feelings that it would make a fantastic storyline for a Sci-Fi novel, but, more than this I cannot tell; you’ll have to wait to see if this particular dream comes true. In the meantime, you can read the blog post to which this refers: “Writing Poetry… A Unique Perspective

3 Responses to The Dream of A Poet

  1. MOMENTS says:

    I like dream-based poems very much, John. We too often ignore the subconscious of our minds as a very important source of creativity. This poem really speaks to me. Love the second stanza, especially these words:

    “Was it a mystery magician or
    con artist, the evil one,
    who managed to deprive me of my freedom;”

    I have recently written some thoughts of freedom as it is now at stake in my country. The conflict Catalonia-Spain is not being resolved and innocent peaceful people (social activists, artists and elected politicians) are either jailed or exiled. Wish I could write as well as you do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • PoetJanstie says:

      You’re kind to say this, but I like to write when and what I feel; to express the sometimes inexpressible or inexplicable. I’m not a ‘pro’ nor do I particularly think of myself as a poet … a title that carries with it much more gravitas and responsibility … I just write stuff, be it poetry, prose or lyrics.

      In spite of the leaders of our World conspiring to wreck the Earth, I do, however, feel lucky to be where I am. The Catalonia-Spain situation is a sad reflection of human power struggles fuelled by paranoia. We live every day with the anxieties of fear of losing what we have and the most powerful (political leaders and corporates) display this … every day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • MOMENTS says:

        Yes, sadly true about daily human power struggles. As for the word poet, I think each person has some potential and can, therefore, become a little poet. But obviously, if I ever thought about myself in terms of comparing my humble attempts at writing poetry to T.S.Eliot’s, Sylvia Plath”s and any of the great poets’ work, I am just a little rat in a hole who is happy to pop out in this great poetry community in the realm of


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