new zealand electronic poetry centre


Rae Pater

Fugacity 05
Online Poetry Anthology



Goldfish Dream

Welcome to the dream, slippery with fishes, their bodies jade, teal, and grey, a basket stitch of movement in water. Ribbed and ridged, sea horses lose their colours in the darkness. We spring from back to back like tight-clad dancers, but still they just swim round and round.

Soul bubbles and seed cages jostle together along crosscurrents. Our steeds curl and uncurl their monkey tails, stop to graze on microscopic banquets we can't see. They're so much better fitted for survival here than we.

Our lanes are filled with duckweed and the buildings are pink neon plastic, flexing in the streams, at the seams they come adrift and let intruders through their gaping firewalls. Divers, hung by cables to the outside world, strive to collect pearls and shipwrecked gold. When they gather all their sacks will hold, they tug to be pulled up, but no one comes to save them, so they dangle, little Maharajahs. Riches cannot buy them transit, or tiny silver globes they need to breathe.

Mother turtles wade the shorelines, trawling sand and debris lines for food to feed their young. As their shells crack and come undone beneath the dripping candlewax of sun they gaze at the eyeballs of god atrophied outside the glassy walls of their abode. He's watched them lumber on for years, but seems to have no hands or arms, only his detached, incurious stares.

Deep within our liquid globe feisty mounts snort and prance as if to wake us from our trance. We sway, sway, branches in the sea of dreams. No escape, no desire, the dream fulfills all we require.

Last updated 25 April, 2005