The Grapevine Art and Soul Salon

Barbara Knott

Presentations: Barbara Knott

host of the Salon, wrote this poem after musing on some of James Hillman's thoughts about dream animals, among them the following:

Animals wake up the imagination. You see a deer by the side of the road, or geese flying in formation, and you become hyper alert. Iíve found that animals dreams can do this too. They really wake people up. Animal dreams provoke their feelings, get them thinking, interested, and curious. As we get more into imagining, we become more animal-like. Not bestial, but more instinctually alive, and with more savvy, a keener nose and a sharper ear.

James Hillman & Margot McLean, Dream Animals, l997, p. 2.

Startled

Awake,
my inward eye reviews
dream images. 
Above,
stars scatter and brighten
below
the eyes of fish in a river shoal. 
A goat browses bark from scrub
beneath a tall pine tree. 
Far off, imagined silver scent of starfire.
Nearby, brown stench of river rot.
Very close, musk from the dappled buck
 who stops ruminating
to strike the ground
Panlike
with hoof,
 starts a starling
from its roost;
a watersnake slides into the deep.
Snake, bird, goat, fish and star:
 when I come to my senses,
I am no longer stuck in the problem of you.

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