The Dream and the Dreamers: A Poem

Photo used with permission from photoxpress.
Photo used with permission from photoxpress.

In seedy diners on the fringe of town,

We sit in crumb-strewn booths,

Staring over stale espressos

And whispered half-truths.

We speak repeatedly

Of you and me,

But I wonder…

Is there ever to be a we?

Your honeyed words a sing-song,

But play on, Orpheus, play.

You fumble over fractured phrases.

(Is that what you meant to say?)

We stumbled on Pandora’s box,

Pried it open and set it free.

The dark longings held therein

Created a nebulous reality.

Tangled in the damp sheets

Of love and lust,

Shackled by feelings

And spurred with mistrust,

I, too, turn to lies.

The gilded dishonesty on my lips

Falls easily into morning coffee

Between hot tortured sips.

My dreams in the gutter of some foggy boulevard,

Scattered like dry leaves by the exhaust from cars,

Lurking in dark alleyways,

Sneaking in smoke-ridden bars.

We stroll, huddled by the chill

Of black velvet nights,

Beyond the glaring honesty

Of the city lights,

And I fall like a child for

Your promises of soon, soon -

Silk-tongued vows under

The cloudless star-dogged moon.

The futility of ambivalence

On your part - not mine,

Embraces in cheap hotels,

Drenched in cheaper wine.

The ringing phone I’m afraid to answer

(I told you not to call here.)

The mailbox lurking with hidden secrets?

Passion consumed by fear.

And is it worth it, after all,

When all is said and done?

Will the dream devour the dreamers,

Should the two become as one?

This poem is about a love affair between two people who are married to others. The speaker of the poem is the woman, who’s ready to end her marriage in order to be with the man. The man, however, keeps stalling. He doesn’t want to lose his mistress, but at the same time, he finds it difficult to leave his wife.

The woman is weary of waiting for him to make a decision. She’s also tired of sneaking around and lying to her husband. She feels guilty about the deceit, but her passion for the other man drives her. She wishes she’d never become involved in the affair, but now she’s so in love with the man that she can’t stop seeing him.

She also wonders if the reality would be as pleasurable as the fantasy. If the two lovers are ever free to be together openly and to marry, would it really be as wonderful as she imagines? Is the dream larger and more powerful than the two dreamers?

I was prompted to write this from a real-life experience. When I met my current husband, Johnny, we were both married to others. At the time, Johnny was in a doomed marriage, and I was married to a philanderer. I fell hopelessly in love with Johnny, but over the course of our affair, I felt many times that we’d never really be together. I feared that he’d never actually make the necessary break and take the “plunge.” It was a year of blissful misery for me. I’m elated to report, however, that it eventually worked out. Johnny and I have been happily married for twenty-three years.

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Comments 39 comments

trecords0 profile image

trecords0 5 years ago from DeLand, Florida

I too have gone through this situation (I'm now married to my ex friends wife.) Looking back it was a lot scarier going through with it than it really was. You have to have faith that things will work out for the best. They did with us. Cool poem habee.

ALUR profile image

ALUR 5 years ago from USA

I like the words used in the poem. It shows raw emotion. To love another that is already taken is a story that exists throughout time. I don't know if I would've explained your poem leaving it to the readers imagination to wander...

hope you look me up as well:)

mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

Hi habee, this is beautiful and I love the fact that it is based on your life and your wonderful husband. You're a lucky gal. When you have time (ha,ha) read my poem on Love on a Collision Course (or something like that). Always good to see you!

Just Ask Susan profile image

Just Ask Susan 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I could feel everything you were going through as I read your poem. So glad that it all turned out for the best and that you are happy. I've always believed that if it is meant to be, it will be.

Wonderful poem with a happy story at the end of the hub.

Tom Rubenoff profile image

Tom Rubenoff 5 years ago from United States

Packed with strong imagery, playful rhyme and compelling, believable emotion. Impressive!

Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 5 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Habee...the epilogue clinches this one for me! Yea!1 I am SO HAPPY that, for the two of you, it ended (and began) as it did...thank goodness.

You've written a beautifully unbelievably and real descriptive verse about the amazing way in which our emotions stir our hearts and steer our voyage...sometimes in the right direction; often times, in the wrong. What a finely written and sublime us insight into the mind of one of the main players. Artistry, beauty, honesty and sensuality..All ups but funny for this one, Habee...and thank you for sharing!!!

Polly C profile image

Polly C 5 years ago from UK

Habee, this is a fantastic and very well written poem, I notice that you said in the forums that it was out of your comfort zone, but it shouldn't be, you should do more! The descriptions and imagery you use is awesome, I loved reading it :)

maven101 profile image

maven101 5 years ago from Northern Arizona

" Tangled in the damp sheets of love and lust..."...That about sums it up for me...Yours was a happy ending, unlike so many others that cling to the dream, chasing that elusive carrot...most never realized...

Nice rhythm and phrasing, transporting us into the mind of a torn woman, hopeful yet consumed with fear...Thanks habee, I enjoyed this...Larry

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, trecords. Believe me, I'd go through it again for the man I'm married to now!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

ALUR, since it had to be 500 words, I wasn't sure what to add. That's why I added the synopsis.

anglnwu profile image

anglnwu 5 years ago

Habee, the seediness of it all seeps through your choice of words--so beautifully done. Glad that it worked out for you. Rated up.

cherylone profile image

cherylone 5 years ago from Connecticut

I was really touched by the poem, habee, I am very glad that it was to be "happily ever after".

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Mary. I'll go read your poem now!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Susan, I feel the same way. There were so many things that had to go just so for Johnny and me to get together!

healingsword profile image

healingsword 5 years ago from California


Thank you for your realistic and moving poem and synopsis. It's wonderful that you and your husband have had a long, happy life together, in the end. The choice to share your experience in poetic form took courage, and may inspire others who face such difficult situations.

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Tom, thanks loads for your kind words!

drbj profile image

drbj 5 years ago from south Florida

I would not have said anything personal about your heartfelt poetry, Holle, if you had not included the postscript explanation. Because as I read your exceptional wording, I got the feeling you were recounting something of your own life. And you were! And you did it in an outstanding and beautiful fashion. Brava, my dear.

DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 5 years ago from USA

Unique, and thought-provoking! Voted up.

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Lucky, thanks so much for understanding! I appreciate your readership.

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ThomasRydder 5 years ago

Good morning, Habee!! I truly love your descriptors, and how you paint the scenes that play behind the perhaps-doomed lovers. Marvelous and dark-I can taste the guilt and helpless way that she realizes that it might all be for naught, but can't help but stay. Absolutely kickin' it up a point!! :)TR

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Polly, thanks so much for your encouragement!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Larry, it's great to see you here! Thanks!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Anglnwu, many thanks!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Cherylone, so am I! lol

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Healing, I hope you're right. I did hesitate momentarily about sharing such personal information. lol

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

drbj, I'm glad the poem seemed "real" to you, even before you knew the facts. Very observant of you! lol

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Donna, many thanks for reading and commenting!

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Oh, Thomas, I'm glad you got the "darkness" of the poem. Thanks for the vote up!

sandi 5 years ago

great story

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thanks, Sandi!

akirchner profile image

akirchner 5 years ago from Central Oregon

Ha~ I guessed it from the beginning~~ And I didn't even know the story....great job and so glad it worked out for you too smokin' hot lovers~

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Buckie, you are just too smart! lol. Now we're too old to be smokin' hot! But we are still in love.

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Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

Excellent story. Although I wasn't married at the time of courting, my wife was. Everybody knew that we were seeing each other. I was always told the people around us that when the time was right her husband would deliver her to my front door with her pillow and that she would be mine. That is exactly what happenned. Twenty two years later, we still belong to one another. Habee, here's is to another 23 years and more for you and your husband.

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Same to you, Hubert! I love it when a plan comes together. lol

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Hubertsvoice 5 years ago

me too

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 5 years ago from London, UK

Tha was a great poem and I am so glad for you that it finally had a happy ending.

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Thank you, HH, for reading and commenting on my poem. How are you?

Nicky Page profile image

Nicky Page 5 years ago from Indiana

Hi Habee, I am very impressed by your honest words and the emotions you display are riveting. Well done and best of luck to you in the contest.

habee profile image

habee 5 years ago from Georgia Author

Why, thank you, Nicky! I don't hold out any hope of winning the poetry category. I don't think of myself as a poet, but I do appreciate your kind words!

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