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Ojibway Dream Net

Dreamed c.1984 by Regina de Cormier-Shekerjian

On receiving a dream net, a hoop
of ash, spider-webbed with sinew

The air is filled with dreams: through
the hole in the center, good dreams
find their way. Ojibway dream net

As I was directed, I hung it over my bed
and that night a dream found its way
through the hole in the center

of this net--one-legged, but many-tongued
and talking out loud while dancing
the circle dance. His right foot wore a sandal

of gold. His left leg of wood,
encased in silver, beat the drum of night.
From his ears dangled bells.

When he offered to cover his nakedness
with my greatcoat, in its pockets
animals hummed. When he spoke

long ribbons of words curled out of his mouth,
printed banners floated in the sky.
He offered to teach me

what is written in the Book of the Old Ones,
in the secret heart of the fire,
on his leg of silver. Glyphs of silver

spun like coins in a magician's hands.

When the sun leapt out of the woods,
he left. I noticed his wings
were the color of blueberries.

This afternoon, having nothing better
to do, I walked through an indifferent rain
to the museum. There, in a glass case

was his leg of silver. I was told
the writing that spirals the surface
has never been deciphered

and the leg has not yet been attributed to any
known culture. I hurried home. I searched
in the drawers, in the cupboards, and under the bed

I found it. In its webbed sinews

a blue feather,
a glyph of silver. Light,
like a mad saint, applauding.

Editor's Note

Me, I find the world confusing enough as is. I keep my art obvious, even if (especially if?) I write about the strange--as I often do. I'd be heavy-handed about that museum with the silver leg, the dreamcatcher and blue feather under her bed--made it clear if the waking events are fiction or reporting.

But even though elusive's not my thing, I can tell when someone into it does it well.

--Chris Wayan--

SOURCE: Dreamworks: an Interdisciplinary Quarterly (v.4, no.1, 1984-5, p.14-15)

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