ANN PILLING: Novelist and Poet


How was your night?
Not bad, but I woke up twice
with a pain in my leg
and I had to walk round.

Did you dream?
Vaguely, I can’t remember now.
Do you dream in colour
or in black and white?

In sepia. Anything coloured
is muted, so are the noises.
People open their mouths
but no sound comes out.

Like The Scream?
Exactly like The Scream.
Do you dream a lot?
Most nights.

But I know I’m dreaming.
What makes you so sure?
Because I rarely dream of happiness
there is always confusion.

What I see seems real enough
I can recognise Oxford and London,
but things are in the wrong place,
half the colleges missing.

The Thames is flowing through Trafalgar Square
and I can’t find our house and they are waiting
for me to come and feed my baby
but I am too old, I have no milk.

Beyond the conscious mind
there must be a sense
that all should be well, that all manner of thing should be well.
Why else, when we dream, do we suffer?

Ann Pilling 2024

This poem appears in "In Flight" published by Mudfog Press. For details click here.