Realm of the REM (audio)

Realm of the REM (audio)

Here is another poem which I’ve recorded for posterity. It is Realm of the REM.

Click here for the recording.

Again look to the right of the screen for the play button.

Here is the text. I have written it in the form of a psalm and it is a simple description of the way I dream (I was going to call it bipolar dreaming originally). Do other people have similar dreams? I would be interested to know.

The indenting in the original stuffs up when I put it in the blog (never mind) so it looks a little different in the original.

Realm of the REM

In the realm of the REM the eyes flitter fretfully;
they rest when video clips of the Id are paused.

What will inward eyes see in my sleep tonight?
Will unfettered views invite horror or delight?

It is the battlefield of Dr Jekyll and Mr. Hyde;
the victor changing in cyclical clashes of the unconscious.

Superhero arms slicing through aqua lagoon waters;
rippling muscles rupturing the translucent jelly.

Leaden torso, sluggish arms, hanging legs dragged down
in hideous, murky waters of a slow motion movie.

Glorious wings of human arms pulsate on mellifluous airstreams;
potent eagle eyes scan the panorama with exultation.

Weary, mournful wings struggle to raise a dead weight;
while a cloud of impending doom envelops exposed limbs.

The woken world is elated by intoxicating dream residues;
or polluted by a putrid, percolating dream shadow.



Published Ripples Magazine (Edition 17, 2009)

Winning poem for the Ripples Magazine annual poetry competition.

29 thoughts on “Realm of the REM (audio)

  1. I love it when you read your poetry, it brings me the music of the language. Over a slideshow of colors and pictures, a multi media show, would be exciting.
    When you say a psaum, what do you mean?

    1. The slideshow idea is cool – I think I could do that!

      A psalm (like in the bible) – developed by the Hebrew poets is a literary form with verses of 2 lines. The first line is a statement and the second builds on the statement via sameness, antithesis or complement. Thanks Ben.

  2. You make dreaming powerful and awesome with this poem Gabrielle. I love the strength with which you read the last two stanzas and in particular that last line. It was a zinger.

    1. I’ve just had an interesting thought. My dreams often involve swimming (water) or flying (birds) – there is something primal about the two concepts and that’s one of the reasons a lot of poetry is written about them. Robert Adamson touched on that in the introduction to his anthology.

      1. I guess the other argument could be made that we so often swim and fly in our dreams because a lot of poetry is written about birds and water. Hard to swallow, really. Doesn’t hold a lot of water. I’ll stomach that when emus fly. Anyway, I am drifting away from my original point. Dreams are refreshing and yet I always wake up with a dry mouth and/or a full bladder. The best poetry, like a catalyst, forces one to wake up and reinterpret. i.e., See ‘Realm of the REM’ by Gabrielle Bryden, and Maekitso’s gushing response.

        1. It is hard to swallow and that argument would only apply if you were one who read poetry (and as we know, a great many don’t). That’s very clever Brad and funny. An interesting fact – emus can swim (so a bird in the water would really ping you know who off).

  3. I just heard you reading your poem. The sounds heard (and seen) are marvelous.

    I was reading it in American, of course, and just now hearing it in Australian. It’s fabulous both ways!

        1. I do have a voice for you (as I probably do for each blogster). It’s a little bit Australian but very well spoken, light and musical with rich undertones – upper class – ha,ha. Now I really want to hear your real voice.

  4. The question of bi-polar dreaming … I have long taken my dreams as providing keen information that I miss in ordinary waking states and have tended to trust them as more “deeply” truthful commentaries on my life. Yet, sometimes I get a huge surprise of a nightmare — and don’t want to trust those!

    A couple weeks ago, while trying in daylight hours dutifully to sort out my feelings about a particular problems, I found myself at night having vivid dreams. And for whatever crazy reason I had alternating optimistic and pessimistic dreams. On optimistic mornings I’d awake, and think “Hurray! Problem solved!”

    Next night — big YIKES!

    I decided that both states of mind are true, and why would one want one’s own mind telling only the good news? Might as well get the complete spectrum from Fabulous-to-OH NO!

    1. I agree totally. The mind is often sorting out problems while we are asleep and dream messages are the way the unconscious gives us information in a not so confronting way (that is why they have to be worked out – the message is rarely direct). Nightmares in particular have to be interpreted carefully – not taken literally (thank goodness – or we’d all be in trouble). One good tip – the characters in a dream often represent aspects of the self.

  5. superb reading of an intense and beautiful poem, great voice, hearing it enhanced all the different ideas of light within. the no-light, the dream-light, the day-light, night-light etc. and it is vivid itself on the page as well.

    the last two lines, where it starts with ‘the woken world’ immediately also called to mind ‘spoken word’ to me like they were two sides of a coin and flipped both ways in a toss. just seemed naturally fitting, blending ideas without saying them. thats magic.

    1. Thanks Graham. I did the Caged Birds audio a few weeks ago and found it useful in editing the poem – finding things that don’t work so well when read out loud (I edited this a little bit from the original).

    1. I am glad you loved it dear squirrel – by the way, I put my ‘My blogosphere is a rainbow flavoured icecream’ in the ABC Radio POOL website – so you might get some strays having a look at your blog – if you’re wondering.

  6. Gabrielle, I really liked the alternate ideas of happy/sad dreams. But do you really have ‘happy’ dreams? I don’t and have always wondered if dreams are only for resolving conflicts of the mind. If so, why happy dreams? Plenty of happy daydreams though. Do they count?

    1. I have some fantastic happy dreams. I think I may have been to more places (flying as usual – my arms are wings) and had more fun in my dreams than real life. I don’t think dreams are just about resolving conflicts but more processing events in the previous 24 hours (or so they say). You must have had some happy dreams, surely (maybe you don’t remember the good ones). Daydreams are good too.

  7. I LOVED hearing you read your wonderful poem – it added such tension and suspense to the words …

    I have so many favourite lines in here, but if I was pushed to pick my absolute favourite it would be:

    ‘Superhero arms slicing through aqua lagoon waters;
    rippling muscles rupturing the translucent jelly.’

    … a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y stunning! (so evocative) … 🙂

  8. This is a masterful poem that submerges the reader in the surrealism of the dream world and that liminal space between sleep and wakefulness. The musing at the beginning – “What will inward eyes see in my sleep tonight? Will unfettered views invite horror or delight?” brought a smile – we never know what we’re in for, do we? Prisoners of our subconscious. Brilliantly described, Gabe, and congrats for the winning the competition.

    1. Thanks for having a look at this older poem BB. I used to be scared to go to sleep some nights when I was having too many nightmares; and I hate when you wake up from a nightmare and you are so tired that you start falling back to sleep into the same nightmare – I will get up and walk around if that happens to try and stop it in it’s tracks.

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