“Was it a vision, or a waking dream?               
         Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?”
—Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats


torn and subdued – acrid, violet ink
tapered at the edges, and squirming
against the onslaught of thoughts —

candles smoldering without a care,
the pale wax marooned on my palms,
i oversee the languid conciliation of

dreams, en route to an acrimonious
sleep — the undying tides are defiantly
restless in slighted visions, as i deign

to shut the doors of cognition, with
everyone aboard – sans all those lost
voices – departing from the ramparts

of my mirrored insanity —


Image source: Hypnagogic Monument, Salvador Dali

A slight conundrum: the title, the image, and the quoted lines refer to different stages—so I have decided to be unmindful of that.
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads.


I have been working on a new Insta handle for over a month now, for literary and creative posts: @anmol.ha.
For contact, you can reach out to me through my multiple profiles, enlisted here.


19 thoughts on “r.e.m.

  1. sanaarizvi says:

    This is a wonderful blend of both serious and surreal! The imagery speaks volumes about how the mind perceives dreams and reality ❤ Especially love; “the undying tides are defiantly restless in slighted visions, as i deign to shut the doors of cognition..” Powerful write 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pat: willow88switches says:

    I particularly love the image conjured in the second stanza – and how it slips/drowses/drips/bleeds (?) into the 3rd … it’s very evocative; atmospheric, and telling, for both its sharpness and “dullness” (in the sense of dream-awake boundaries blurring etc. NOT boring).

    this is an interesting piece, even as you’ve mentioned, for the “disconnections” – but so often, dreams are like this, a blending, melding of subconscious (and the oddities it sometimes offers us) and realism, or hyper-realism.

    just a note: the second stanza – technically, you mention candles (plural) and then begin with “its” – which implies one, and for some reason, I can both accept this as being “logical” for the surrealism of a dream/wake/dream poem – yet not. (okay, sorry, I’m being a bit grammatically picky, but it’s something you might want to consider if you keep playing with this piece; hope you don’t mind my mentioning it)

    and yes, I have this incredible image of an opened palm, receiving this pale offering – <— I really love this image, it offers a host of possibilities; love the atmospheric quality of this HA


    • Hey, thank you for bringing it to my attention. I have a habit of proofreading multiple times before posting; I don’t know how I missed that. Seemingly, I am forcing myself to write nowadays — that may have impacted my attention to this piece and other pieces recently as well. I am going to edit it. I apologize if it acted as a deterrence in your reading experience.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Pat: willow88switches says:

        no apologizes necessary at all HA. None. I totally get it, and like you, proof-read etc. several times over, but things happen, so no worries; and in this case, it’s just slight – so it wasn’t an interruption by any means, just a note.

        and more to the point, I hope you can find some energy to “get your muse on” – in a way that seems less tiresome or arduous than of late, but these recent pieces, well, if anything, consider them as teasers, or word exercises or sketches, vignettes … in other words, don’t give up or in …

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you for your kind words and suggestions. That’s what I have been trying to do; just penning it all down. It’s wonderful how you can find one particular line or image to build on from a discarded verse. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • Pat: willow88switches says:

            oh yes, that too – sometimes in all the “dreck” we write (because we all do, not that I’m making any suggestions or references here to this piece or any other of yours) – there are hidden gems, just waiting for the right moment to catch the light …. 🙂

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Dreams. Total weirdness at times. Other times frightening and other times, meh. I like this poem of dreams. I only once wrote of a dream I had and people totally misinterpreted it, as dreams are want to be done. ” en route to an acrimonious
    sleep” Oh my. This describes my sleep so well. I hate dreaming Anmol. totally. I think that is why I do my best escape sleep. Excellent work in this.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can totally understand that.
      I haven’t had a dream in a while — whenever I am going through a hard time, I stop dreaming entirely. It’s a strange situation. But my sleep cycle is such that I am half awake all the time; that is no less than a nightmare. A good sleep evades me naturally.

      Thank you for your kind words. ❤


  4. Love this grand entrance to R.E.M. sleep
    “i oversee the languid conciliation of

    In fact the whole poem is like a voyage to a lost world – as an inveterate insomniac I especially relate to ‘acrimonious sleep’

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love a poem that makes me think, Oh, yes, I’ve been there, putting away the voices so that eyes and mind can snuggle with slumber. I’m pretty sure that anyone who has been kept awake longer than they want to by their thoughts can feel this one, and anyone lucky enough not to have experienced it will know exactly what it is like… through this window into about-to-fall-asleep-madness.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This sounds a little like my normal sleep pattern! Sadly we are desperate to make sense of dreams rather than regard them as wasted thoughts fit for the trash can as your brain gets you ready for sleep. It is strange that we sift through such rubbish for the meaning of life!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Rommy Driks says:

    I’ve seen awful nights like this, and been so relieved when I could leave them behind. This has all of the rawness of the real thing. Marvelously done.

    Liked by 1 person

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