Iowa Writes

The Dreaming Land

I dream of spring, when the sky dampens
the seeds of gathering heat, the diving crow
aims toward what was just born, and
even the driveway gravel glitters in the stark
white light between storm and night.
I dream of the winter's black-and-white landscape
scribbled green, punctured by the maroon tip of root
in a field cleaned black with fire while
the cottonwoods unfurl their pale green hearts.

This land dreams sky, a shifting infusion
of shadow on cloud, despite the unreliability
of rain or clarity. The deer dream fawns.
The fawns dream flight as they walk the through-line
of the horizon. The horizon never stops dreaming,
its sleep a progression of filtering color through space.

The dream always dreams possibility
juxtaposed against decay, lightning, first
redbud blossom or starling feather stuck on a rooftop.
The rooftop dreams, belly up, to the sky,
its dream a song of shelter and risk.

The sky dreams light rolling away from dark,
dark rolling away from light, expansive as sorrow
that permeates the porous souls of everything
from weather to the dog left alone in the living room
while I step outside into the dizzy of bird call,
flocks pouring down onto branches
swollen with the hard dreams of blossom.

(reprinted with permission of author from Landed, Mammoth Publications, 2009)

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg is the poet laureate of Kansas, and the author or editor of 11 books, including four collections of poetry and The Sky Begins At Your Feet: A Memoir on Cancer, Community and Coming Home to the Body (Ice Cube Press, 2009). Founder of Transformative Language Arts at Goddard College, where she teaches, she also leads community writing workshops widely, and with singer Kelley Hunt, writes songs, collaboratively performs and offers Brave Voice writing and singing workshops. She is a presenter in The Examined Life conference held in Iowa City.

The Examined Life is a three-day conference in April focusing on the links between the science of medicine and the art of writing and sponsored by the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

This page was first displayed
on May 27, 2011

Find us on Facebook