Tag Archives: Dreams

Sweet Revenant, for Norma, a poem by Maura Alia Badji

Sweet Revenant,  for Norma

In French heels, you were film
noir to the neighborhood’s two-reel
matinee. Sloe-eyed and languorous
your gaze said I’m not here to stay.
Years-gone, yours was the voice, husky
and moist, I tried on in night clubs,

poet haunts. Confident your muse could lend
siren-sleek accents, glimmers of poise
to quirky choices, I stutter-stepped my way
home. Hopefully chic in black dresses,
I side-swiped heart quakes, courted

disaster, certain my map of your insolent
laughter would save the day. More than once,
I swore I caught your slim, crepe de chined
form leaning languid at my door. Face half-turned
from porch-light, I breathed your dreamy whisper–
Buona seda, faccia bedda. Sleep, sleep tight.

~Maura Alia Badji

 

Poet: Maura Alia Badji’s poems and essays have appeared in Barely South Review, Cobalt, ArtVoice Buffalo, Switched-on Gutenberg, Exhibition, convolvulus, Spillway, teenytiny, Signals, The Buffalo Times, and The Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. Her themes include multiracial identity and families, female ancestors, social justice, female sexuality, and the discovery and creation of mythos. Maura has been a contributing writer for The Buffalo Times, Soul Music of The World, and LivingSocial.com; she has guest-blogged for NOLAFemmes, Eat.Drink.Memory, and piquant. Her blog is The Moxie Bee http://www.themoxiebee.com

She is a member of The Watering Hole collective, an online community for poets of color ( https://twhpoetry.wordpress.com/) and is grateful for the excellent online classes, and mutual support of ‪#‎tribe‬ she has found there.

Maura earned her MFA in Creative Writing at the University of WA, Seattle, where she was an Editorial Assistant to Coleen J. McElroy at The Seattle Review. Maura was a Tutor/Advocate for migrant children from the Caribbean and Mexico, and taught ESL night classes to migrant workers in Ulster/Dutchess Counties. She taught Early Childhood Special Education for a decade in the Mid-Hudson Valley of NY, Portsmouth and Norfolk, Virginia. She is a certified massage therapist and a Reiki practitioner.

A NY State native, she lives and dreams in the Seven Cities region of Virginia with her son, Ibrahim. She is working on returning to the Mid-Hudson Valley.

Photos: Wanderlust, Front
Wanderlust, Back

Photographer: Kristin Fouquet, New Orleans, LAhttp://www.fouquet.cc/kristin/LeSalon.html

Model: Ingrid Lucia, New Orleans, LA
http://www.allmusic.com/artist/ingrid-lucia-mn0000090010

Wanderlust
Wanderlust, front by Kristen Fouquet
Maura Alia Badji
Wanderlust, Back; by Kristin Fouquet

A Dream of Purple Avocados

A Dream of Purple Avocados

Bought a bunch of avocados on sale after a dream about an avocado tree with purple skinned fruit. Ione’s Annual Dream Festival-–what might that signify?)

Avocado
BEHOLD–The Purple Dream Avocado!

Do you know the phrase for fruit in Bambara, yiri den, literally translates to ‘tree children”?  I love that so much! The trees are parents! And vegetables are nako fen– “garden things”. Not quite so poetic, but kind of charming still. I’ve been brushing up my minimal Bambara to translate a Habib Koite song for my blog. I should have taken up linguistics; I love learning languages. But, I digress, said ADHD Mama.

I ate one avocado with lime and salt and a little hot sauce. Thought of Ibrahima Soury Diabate, aka Ibrahim’s uncle aka Big Brahma, aka master balafoniste of anciently famed griot lineage, eating avocados sprinkled with sugar (yikes) at a Tabaski celebration in New Paltz, NY circa 2002.

Next day chopped another avocado into chickpea/tomato/red onion salad with homemade vinaigrette.  Chased after Ibrahim aka Brahma , although now I’m only allowed to call him that at home, offering him some—no go.

I’m not concerned; it took him a couple years to eat tomatoes, jalapenos, hot sauce, and spinach, all which he practically lives on now.  Along with pizza. Ha! His father, my ex-husband,  had a horror of pizza, but it was the only thing I could keep down the last couple months of pregnancy. If I was a mean woman, I’d send Assane pics of Ibrahim worshipping pizza and running from rice, the sacred staple of his father’s homeland of Guinea.

There are two avocados left.   I won’t make guacamole, because we had some particularly awful burritos the other night, served with appalling guac. Yes, there is such a thing.

I might use one of the last dream avocados to make a half-batch of this pasta sauce from PureWow.com; I bet it’s good over rice, too.

avocados

My friend Lei Angel told me her mom says that avocados symbolize fertility/womanhood and potential when you see them in your dreams.

As the fertility gods have left this particular ‘building”, I told Lei I’m choosing to interpret the symbolic meaning as pertaining to creative fertility. Yes!

Ka su maya aw kono! Buon appetito! Bon Appetit!, and for you, Lei Angel; Kainan na! and E ʻai kākou!

Ingrid Lucia–Dreams Aren’t Only for the Young

Dreams Aren’t Only for the Young–Ingrid Lucia– Live@ Snug Harbor, NOLA, Filmed by Kristen Fouquet

Ingrid Lucia is a jazz vocalist and musician based in New Orleans, LA; she is the leader of the Flying Neutrinos, a band founded by her parents in the 1980s.

Ingrid Lucia
INGRID LUCIA

Of their first CD, “I’d Rather Be on New Orleans”, the Washington Post said, “There are times when Ingrid Lucia and the Flying Neutrinos’ album I’d Rather Be in New Orleans is enticing enough to make even a staunch New Yorker feel homesick for the Big Easy. A sultry, behind-the-beat voice, a combination of sometimes languid, sometimes syncopated rhythms, and lots of evocative brass all conspire to make this a picture postcard of an album.”

Ingrid Lucia and Kristen Fouquet have collaborated on projects before, most recently ” The Shotgun Sunday Series” postcard collection. See Kristin’s site Le Salon for more information.

 

KRISTIN FOUQUET

Kristin Fouquet is a writer and photographer in the lovely city of New Orleans. Her short fiction and fine art and street photography have been published widely online and in print. She is the author of Twenty Stories (Rank Stranger Press 2009), a collection of short literary fiction, Rampart and Toulouse (Rank Stranger Press, 2011), a novella and other stories, The Olive Stain and other stories (Hammer & Anvil Books, 2013), an e-chapbook, and the print version, The Olive Stain and other stories (Le Salon Press, 2013).

Her virtual home is http://www.fouquet.cc/kristin/LeSalon.html

~Maura Alia Badji

Persephone Under the Dream Sea

dream

 

Persephone Under the Dream Sea

When I was a youngin of about 4 or 5, living in the frozen tundra of Buffalo, NY, (Hi, Lisa Klossner! ) I developed an inexplicable crush on Jacques Cousteau.

PERSEPHONE UNDER THE SEA dream

I dreamed that I went to live with Mssr. Jacque under the sea, but we had to break up because I could not abide by the giant fish that kept creeping up on us while we were enjoying our underwater playground and singing French songs.

persephone dream

Also, I refused to eat any of the polka-dotted chicken fish he kept trying to feed me. In hindsight, I think I saved myself from an oceanic Persephone scenario. I had this same dream repeatedly for several years.

Persephone dream

Could this be why I’ve ended nearly every male/female relationship I’ve had? The thrill of an escape to freedom? I’ll not eat your pomegranate seeds or your polka-dot chicken-fish, Monsieur!

PERSEPHONE UNDER THE SEA dream

Hmmm. I blame the French Canadian tv I was exposed to at a tender age.  All that Chez Hélène, sorrowful art films from The Children’s Foreign Film Festival, and repeated viewings of Jacques’ Undersea World apparently took a toll.

persephone under the sea dream

It could have been worse. At least I wasn’t made to watch Hee Haw or The Lawrence Welk Show.

Do you have any dream stories to share?

http://www.iflscience.com/…/watch-divers-swim-along-massive…

A Brief History of Dream Interpretation

dream door__1_by_jkemeny-d85ma5i

 

Good Morning Dreamers!

Do you have any dreams to share?

As I’ve focused on the world of dreams and dream interpretation this week I’ve wondered how long we humans have been examining the wanderings of our sleeping brains. A simple Internet search of the reveals we’ve been at it for quite some time, dating back to 3000-4000 B.C. when dreams were set down on clay tablets.

I imagine that our preoccupation with dreams goes back even further and that from the time we were able to communicate which each other, in however rudimentary a form, human beings have been enchanted with the dream world and have strived to understand them.

While some primal societies could not distinguish between the everyday and the dream world, for some ancient societies the dream world, was seen as not only an extension of the waking world, but as being a more powerful realm.

dream

The ancient Greeks and Romans believed dreams were direct messages from the dead, the ancestors, or the gods. Dreams were interpreted as predictions and forewarnings of the future. Temples and shrines were built where people could sleep in order to receive dream messages.

So strong was their belief in the power of dreams that the actions of rulers and military leaders were often dictated by them. Dream interpreters accompanied generals into the battle fields in order to help advise on strategy. That is not a job I’d recommend to anyone.

dream

In ancient Egypt, priests acted as revered dream interpreters; they were looked up to as divinely gifted. They too advised rulers and military leaders. Dreams were documented in hieroglyphics. Those people who had extremely vivid dreams were believed to be blessed by the gods.

dream
dream

Some cultures, such as the Chinese, believe that the dream world is an actual place that our spirit or soul visits nightly. As the soul leaves the body for this nightly journey it is believed that one should not be suddenly awakened because the soul may fail to return on such short notice.

Some African, Aboriginal, Native American, and Mexican societies held the belief of the dream world as another dimension, separate from the waking world and inhabited by dead ancestors who could provide dreaming visitors with messages, guidance, and information about one’s path or purpose in life.

Dream

Many in of these societies also believed that the spirits of the ancestors could inhabit plants, animals, water, and living humans in order to deliver their gifts, warnings, curses, or information. Many continue to hold these beliefs today.

This is by no means an exhaustive look at the history of belief in dream interpretation, but even briefly tracing back into history reveals a long-standing pull to glean information and guidance from our dreams. For instance the Bible and Koran are full of dream references; both religious texts include the story of Joseph and his role as an interpreter of dreams.

How do you approach the interpretation of your dreams? Through meditation? Consulting a dream dictionary? Do you regularly share and discuss your dreams with others?

~Maura

In The House of the Riddle Mother, poem

mother

In The House of the Riddle Mother

I.

My mother kisses me
goodbye through friendly
plastic. She is melting
halfway down broken stairs
when I remember to shout
“Show me your real skin!”

II.

At the labor clinic I wait
in line to birth my baby,
My mother befriends a homeless
woman in the waiting room.
I am strong, she tells me,
while this woman has nothing.
I’ll be fine, she says.

Shrieks of my birth pains
bring Ayezan, the Haitian midwife.
She tells me her real name is Ayinde;
I remember to breathe.
Two rooms down, my mother
comforts a stranger.

III.

Two weeks overdue, my daughter
enters the world wrapped
in a pearly membrane stretched
across her face like a veil,
her Great-Grandmother’s

gift: a caul, a calling
to second sight, sailors’ charm
against drowning. Sicilian charm
against the malocchio,

a key to dreams.
I name her Sophia Marina,
wise woman of the sea.

–Maura Alia Badji

This poem was based on a dream I had following a miscarriage when I was six months pregnant in 1995. It was the fourth time I’d lost a baby. The numbered sections in the poem correspond to different scenes from the dream. The title is from the book of the same name by Clarissa Pinkola Estes; a copy of the book appeared in the dream.

My life seemed a particularly puzzling landscape at that time. My mother was living across the country from me. Her reaction to the news seemed bizarre at the time; she confessed she was relieved because I had been ill and she was worried I might die My husband at the time was not supportive during my pregnancy and was less so after the miscarriage; he responded to that event by getting a vasectomy.

The dream, while odd, gave me a quiet hope that perhaps one day I would indeed become a mother. At the time I thought that might come about through adoption. The day after I returned from the hospital I won a poetry prize from a writer’s conference I’d just attended. That news, along with the dream, seemed like a sign of my creative life going on and I took hold of my writing with both hands, publishing, doing readings, and getting into a graduate writing program.

Four years later I took part in a non-denominational ritual performed by a female priest and rabbi together with a Buddhist nun and a Muslim holy woman. Gathered together with over fifty other women, I named the baby I lost at six months Sophia Marina.

Eight years later, divorced and remarried, much to my surprise I gave birth to a son, Ibrahim Sean, named for two of his uncles. He was born with a partial caul. His father, a West African marabout, dancer/drummer and I are not together any longer. As I tell Ibrahim, some things in life have their own schedule and reason. I wouldn’t change anything that happened before his birth because each step brought me to him and made me his mother.

Have you ever received support and information in your dreams that helped you move on from a difficult period in your life or gave you comfort in some way? Have scenes from your dreams directly appeared in your writing or art work?

Ancestor Messages in Our Dreams with Antranette Doe

Ancestor Messages in Our Dreams

Among the maternal branches of my family tree is a cluster of women, myself among them, who emerged from their mothers’ wombs with two notable gifts: a caul, a thin membrane that is part of the amniotic sac, stretched across their faces like a veil, and the gift of second sight. This second gift most often expressed itself in prophetic dreams and the ability to “visit” with family members who had passed on.

ANCESTORS1



Sometimes these visits occurred within dreams, through lucid dreaming, waking dream states, or as my mother would often put it, “Your great-grandmother sat on my bed last night.” For me it was a gift that took some getting used to; it scared me as a child, but I came to see it for the treasure it was by the time I was a young woman. Ancestors4

Let me be clear: you do not need to have been born with a caul to have prophetic dreams or receive visits or messages from your ancestors. I believe these are gifts that can be sought out and nurtured. When I began to receive messages and visits from ancestors I did not recognize I subsequently began purposeful research of the practice of reaching out to and communicating with one’s ancestors.

ancestors2



  Happily my research led me to Antranette Doe’s personal and Ancestry group pages where I’ve benefitted from her video posts, research, and personal experiences. Antranette is a Psychic-Medium, Spiritual Counselor, and Social Worker, BASW based in Philadelphia, PA. She also hosts a Ancestral Pathways Facebook group. Before I share one of her videos on Ancestor Messages in Dreams, I’d like to let her tell you about herself: ‘Hello! A bit about me, my spiritual abilities are Divinely given passed down to me by my Ancestors and our Creator. I am a natural born Medium. I offer several spiritual readings, from Ancestor, Womb Healing, Angel, Love life, Past life, After-life, Spiritual Growth, and even Group readings, healing Circles and Workshops! I am a Healer through Channeling messages and calling in Energy, Divine Healing Light from Creation and Word Power. I pride myself on being a Wife, Mama and Social Worker. My work experience in the human service field for over past decade has equipped me with the know how to deliver social services to individuals, families and groups. I am very much dedicated and committed to empowering dear Souls to live a fully expressed and healed life this time around! I am so honored to connect in Spirit with You!”  

  ancestors3jpg

Connect with Antranette Doe: 

Twitter: @antranettedoe

Facebook: Live Divinely with Antranette 

Web site: Live Divinely 

Connect with Maura Alia Badji:

Twitter: @MoxieB

Facebook: The Moxie Bee Fan Page

Do Cats Dream? A Window Into the Dream World of Cats

Do Cats Dream?

Loom and Cats, by Kristin Fouquet.
Loom and Cats, by Kristin Fouquet.

Have you noticed when cats sleep, they make subtle movements with legs, paws, whiskers or even murmur or chatter a bit in the course of their sleep? It is very likely that they are reliving an experience they had in their wild imagination – in a dream.

Cats do dream. There is scientific evidence that cat’s brain can formulate dreams during sleep. In humans, there are 5 stages of sleep where the fifth stage, AKA REM (rapid eye movement) is where dreams occur. Similarly, cats have 2 types of sleep – REM and non-REM (deep sleep). Cats usually stay in REM sleep for about 30 percent of their sleeping time. The brain wave patterns displayed by a sleeping cat are comparable to that in humans. However, humans only spend about 20 percent of our sleep time in REM stage except for human babies that have 80 percent of their sleep in REM.

During REM stage, cats display an array of body movements that are indicative of them dreaming. Cats dream of things that they have experienced previously. As they slumber, they twitch their tail and whiskers, extend and retract their claws, raise their lip, and/or even start having nuance of murmuring or chattering. Just like humans, cats’ brain emits a substance to refrain them from vividly acting out the stories in their dream. However, it does not stop them from showing clues of them reliving a scenario or enacting an imaginary story.

As we know that chattering in cats is a sign of frustration when they spot a prey but are unable to reach it. Our cat may unveil that moment in its dream by lifting its upper lip to expose “their canines”, having intermittent chattering while slashing its tail side to side. If your cat is dreaming about prowling and pouncing on a prey, its tail may twitch, whiskers wiggle, eyes move suddenly behind their closed eyelids. The range of dreams cats can come about are limitless.

In the non-REM stage, cats are in deep sleep. This means their body starts repairing itself where the energy level is being replenished, immune system bolstered and muscles and bones regenerated. Cats usually sleep for approximately 16 hours per day, so you may be able to catch them dreaming quite easily. With all the cues you observe from their subtle body movements, you may be able to construe what their dream is about.”

Source:

http://www.petpeoplesplace.com/resources/articles/cats/24-do-cats-dream.htm

The Cat Behavior (Answer Book) by Arden Moore

Image: “Loom & Cats”, photo by Kristin Fouquet.  Kristin Fouquet is a writer and photographer in the lovely city of New Orleans.  Her short fiction and fine art and street photography have been published widely online and in print.  She is the author of Twenty Stories (Rank Stranger Press 2009), a collection of short literary fiction, Rampart and Toulouse (Rank Stranger Press, 2011), a novella and other stories, The Olive Stain and other stories (Hammer & Anvil Books, 2013), an e-chapbook, and the print version, The Olive Stain and other stories (Le Salon Press, 2013). Her virtual home  is: http://www.fouquet.cc/kristin/LeSalon.html

Follow Kristin on Twitter: @kristinfouquet
*This is my fourth post for my Dream Residency at Ione’s 21st Annual Dream Festival. 

hd Butterfly: A dream inspired poem

firerainbow

hd Butterfly

I dream an open window,
where colors spill in,
swimming in rainbows.

Wading in a colorstream,
a sea of vivid prisms,
absorbing in my pores.

Floating in R.E.M. state,
cocooned in ultra hd walls,
suspended in imagination.

My awakening eyes,
explosions; visual intensity,
5th primary color sight.

Your blues aren’t mine,
grey skies don’t exist,
our palettes differ.

My wings of fire rainbows,
Sonic boom open windows,
Emerging my butterfly.

–Donald Atkinson, Norfolk, VA

 

Donald Atkinson is a poet, writer, spoken word artist, husband, father, soldier, clerk.   He lives in Norfolk, VA with his family .

Connect with Donald:

https://www.facebook.com/donald.atkinson.547/

**This is also my third post for my dream residency at Ione’s 21st Annual Dream Festival

Let Nidra, Hindu Goddess of Sleep, Cure Your Insomnia

Let Nidra, Goddess of Sleep, Cure Your Insomnia

urmila

 

While researching the world of dreams I began to wonder, “Who are the gods and goddesses of sleep around the world?”  There are many; the first I happened upon was Nidra, the Hindu goddess of sleep.   Some sources refer to her as the female counterpart to Brahma, the Hindu creation deva who slept (consciously) between the creation of worlds.

brahma_002

Yoga nidra is “yogic sleep”, a state of deep sleep during which one remains conscious.   It differs from lucid dreaming in that in lucid dreaming the sleeper remains aware of only the dream world.  Yoga nidra is thought to bring about the deepest level of relaxation possible while the sleeper is able to maintain full consciousness.   Practicing yogis report being able to experience this state during meditation.   Yoga Nidra meditation is often taught to those experiencing insomnia and anxiety; it has also been used with success to treat veterans of war who suffer post traumatic stress disorder.

I’m not a yoga expert; I’ve casually studied and practiced yoga over the years since being introduced to it during my Hudson Valley childhood.   While practicing yoga on Bainbridge Island, WA in the mid-90s, I experienced a state of yoga Nidra many times at the end of class during corpse pose; I was in a deep state of relaxed sleep, immobile but completely aware and able to hear my teacher speaking and my classmates breathing.

NIDRASLEEP

Currently, I’ve found yoga Nidra musical mantras available on Youtube to be helpful with insomnia.    I’m sharing one of my favorites here: https://youtu.be/wnROVocfoho from the Mystical Valley Channel.

NIDRA1

 

I’m happy to be on this *dream journey with all of you.

Sweet dreams. ~Maura

*This is also my second post for my dream residency at Ione’s 21st Annual Dream Festival