Dream Imagery

The poetics prompt at dVerse Poets Pub is to “write a poem inspired by a vision, dream, or both.” I tried to do the spoon in the bowl trick to induce a dream state, but all I saw was a big orange square of color with a read shadow moving around, so I decided to sleep on it and I’m glad I did because I had very vivid dreams last night.

The Body of the Dream by Maria L. Berg 2023

I am a group of three women going to a writing retreat

but I was waffling, so I just followed
to enjoy the talk and be in the walk
but before we left, we needed relief
we arrived upstairs and entered the booths
but they crammed in mine, their laughter was bright
and throwing a card up in the thick air
it defied logic and surprise! froze there
she threw a whole pack of colored small cards
they tumbled then froze in patterned tableaux
I needed to go, I squeezed through the mess
to the booth next door glad for a rest, but
card woman followed, black straight hair shining
she revealed a new pack, and sent those cards fly-
ing into the air, creating structures
like bridges Venetian, cov’ring canals
eyes flashing from one amazing wonder
to land on the next joy to discover
but I could not stop my mind from worry
we needed to go and be in a hurry
because time moved so unlike the cards
and we would miss the bus to their ferry

#NaPoWriMo Day 15: Music in my Dreams

Last song of the night

A to Z Challenge

Today is exciting for me. A day when all of the prompts and my choice for A to Z work together. Dream Music! Yay!

moderato – rather fast
melody – succession of musical tones, prominent part contrasted to harmony
meno mosso – less motion or speed
morendo –  a dying away of sound, gradually getting softer until no sound exists


Prompt: write a poem inspired by your favorite kind of music

PAD Challenge

Prompt: write a dream poem

The poem

Dream Music

A melody in the key of flight
with a harmony at intervals of cathedral steps
that crescendos like water rushing over a waterfall
dolce tones of feathers falling
diminuendo to cyclopean fermata
a half-step turn reveals the spacious view
palatial glissando into counterpoint
creates the rhythm for a bailecito moderato
and I wake jubiloso
the dream song lingers until morendo



# NaPoWriMo Day 4: Dreams and Wishes

double ink blot with acrylic paint

Dreamscape (2020)                             acrylic inkblot and photo by Maria L. Berg

I wrote a song called Haunting Dreams that I recorded with Maria and the Aftermath on our album Selective Memories. I uploaded it to HitRecord which is a fun site for artistic collaboration. I think it fits nicely with this theme.

Blogging A to Z

diminuendo – gradually get softer

dolce – play with a sweet tone

dynamics – variations in degree of loudness and softness, shading


Prompt: Write a poem based on an image from a dream

PAD Challenge

Prompt: Write a wish poem

The poem

Dreams and Wishes

Dreams and wishes
echo unfulfilled desires
remnants of reaching
into the vast unknown
only to find a silent ache

Wishes like fishes
swim around in
the collective unconscious
looking for tasty bait
that will hook
and draw them wriggling
to the surface
for a last gasp
only to die

Dreams are the streams
where hope battles
against the current
guided by biological
determination to
fertilize and duplicate
and once spawned
wither and die
decay and wash away

Be diligently weary
of wishes
and find a way
to keep REM sleep at bay
for the promises
dangled by those shimmering
glimpses in the night
are but slimy scales in the light


M is for Mawkish

mawkish: adjective – 1. having an insipid often unpleasant taste 2. sickly or puerilely sentimental

writober 27

Mutation by Maria L. Berg 2017


Puerilely Sentimental

Your teacup rattles as the table wobbles
I quickly lift my cup in response
The steaming charcoal liquid close to my face
Smells of pleasant bergamot
But I remember its mawkish entanglement and
Center it carefully back in its saucer

I wince as the hammer echos beyond the window
A seagull screams. I smell the ocean
And our wobbling table is in a rowboat
I know I had placed matchbooks under the uneven leg
I bend over to find it and see that the ribbons
Of my ballet shoe have bunched to my ankle again
Frustrated, I begin to cross and wrap the pink satin and
Become embarrassed by the spots of blood

You sip your mawkish tea
The seagull lands on your head and
You lift your teacup to its beak
I worry that the blood from my
Ballet shoes will attract the shark
My ribbons tight, too tight, I hear
A clink of the china and two of my teeth
Float in the now cold tea
You bang your hammer on the table
Making it wobble and tell me to
Go to the dentist
I feel trapped in this rowboat
With you and your seagull and
Search the water for the shark


Exploring the Senses – The Sixth Sense

Playing ghost hunter on Halloween night. Ghost floutist or submarine?

Playing ghost hunter on Halloween night. Ghost flutist or submarine?

next shot no flute

The next picture zoomed in on same spot. The ghostly image is gone.

Though everyone agrees on the five major senses, neurologists and perception researchers believe there are more. Some think the main senses should be broken into  sub-genres. Others believe we have many sensory cell types leading to other senses including: balance, pain, temperature, time, body part location, and sensing internal organs. However, when we talk about the sixth sense, none of these other senses come to mind. The sixth sense is commonly understood as a blanket term for how we perceive everything that is considered paranormal (not scientifically explainable).

Writing about the sixth sense can put your story into the horror or fantasy genre, or it can add depth to a character. A character who believes she has psychic abilities can be odd, crazy, or in tune with things others cannot see depending on how the writer presents the sixth sense.

Exercise: What kind of psychic power do you wish you had? Choose one (mind reading, seeing the future, telekinesis, etc.) and write about a character who has it, or having it yourself. Is it a positive or negative experience? Are you able to use it to help others, or is it a torturous burden? How would this insight or ability change how you relate to others? Write for five or ten minutes.

Example: When we did this exercise in writing group I chose a clairvoyant who sees the future in her dreams. This is an expanded version of what I wrote in group.

Unless she passed out drunk, she always left her computer on playing reruns of television shows on repeat. The song at the end of each episode would wake her up just long enough to kick her out of REM sleep. It was the only way she knew to avoid the dreams. She had been doing it for over eight years and was sick of it. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before, she thought, as she turned off the computer.

After a few vivid demonic visages that almost convinced her she wanted to watch a comedy-mystery for the 10,000th time, she slept. The nightmarish images came in full color. It was a hot sunny day made nice by a breeze. She and Miss Opal sat at a café having a pleasant catch up chat when the bomb was thrown from a moped speeding by. The scene happened in slow motion: her head turning, the white helmet with the black reflective visor moving toward them, the brown paper package coming into view just as it was thrown. She hated the ominous seconds that felt like a lifetime in which the viewer wants to do something, but cannot move. She watched as her friends and neighbors blew apart, heard their screams and smelled their burning flesh.

The room was dark and quiet. The clock read 4:10 am. She wasn’t sitting up, crying or sweating. She was more angry than sad. Just because she had been talking to her dead friend Miss Opal didn’t mean the bombing would happen in New Orleans. It didn’t mean it would happen at all. She wouldn’t tell anyone or watch the news. Knowing never helped her help anyone, not even herself.

Let your imagination run wild. Explore more than one idea of the sixth sense. Is psychic ability a spiritual issue for you? Does the idea of a sixth sense bring up death and afterlife philosophies, or is it pure fantasy wish fulfillment?