What Dreams May Come?

This is a poem about fear, hope, and joy. It was written using couplets and iambic tetrameter.

Can we imagine endless bliss?
It’s something people seem to miss,
But people dare not hope for more,
Or search for what was here before,
For hope, once shattered, makes us pause,
And we no longer clutch at straws.

But people cannot live without
Some form of hope, or faith devout,
For even when a tree is felled,
In roots and stump, some life is held,
So people who have little hope
Retain a spark that lets them cope,
And when hope darkens like the sky,
Surrounding life helps them get by.

But we behave like dominoes:
When one man falls, his neighbor goes,
Unless we aren’t connected to
All other men by social glue,
And, in that case, our hearts won’t melt
When terror is by others felt.

But desolation haunts us all
When many neighbors yield and fall,
And loneliness and sorrow come,
And still the hopeful do succumb
To human feelings brought by woe,
And chaos lands a forceful blow;
We must resist the undertow
When grief attempts to bring us low.

But joy becomes an enemy,
It makes us weak so utterly,
And anger comes when we can’t keep
A joy that many feel is cheap;
If happiness just comes and goes,
And sorrow’s what each day bestows,
Then sorrow is the final truth—
It steals the joys of fickle youth.

But could there be another track
To guide us as the world turns black?
Or if we have no hope to give,
Should we embrace the negative?
Or are we just like fearful tots
Who run away from bedtime cots?
They’re so afraid to lose control—
A monster could consume their soul
Within a terror of the night,
And they would have to flee or fight.

They do not know that dreams aren’t real,
Since utter terror’s what they feel,
And though they run and cry and scream,
When they awaken from the dream
They soon will feel their parents’ arms,
And their calm presence soon disarms
The terrors coming from their minds,
And each kid laughs at what he finds:
Reality removes the fear
When it is seen in daylight clear.

And aren’t we like those fearful ones?
For we can make comparisons:
Since sleep is like a little death,
And we fear we will lose our breath
To hidden monsters we can’t see—
We fear a foreign enemy.

But fear is what hurts us the most:
It is the monster, foe, or ghost
That haunts us every single day,
Until we send the ghost away
By living as we know we should,
By giving what is only good.

And fear and guilt both will dissolve
When others’ sins we all absolve,
And neither sleep nor death will make
Us fearful as we stay awake,
But rest will come to weary souls
As we relinquish hopeless goals;
When we put hope in endless life,
A peace will come to vanquish strife;
Reality is safe indeed,
And joy is fully guaranteed.

(written December 2019)