The Painter of Dreams

by Francesca Leung
Each night is just a fragment of a dream
in which there is no time or memory.
In silent nights you, fretful, toss and turn;
forget the days you live, forget your life.
Then come now to my home ephemeral—
in which your sleep is canvas to my art.

I paint them all—each lovely work of art
is each a masterpiece of mine, of dream—
and my regrets.  They are ephemeral;
but is it not a pleasant memory
which adds to that which is the worth of life?
Not all of them are pleasant: here we turn

around to say that when you toss and turn
at night, you see your spooks; you see my art
which mimics what you fear the most in life
as well as what you love.  Is not a dream
reflection of your mind, of memory?
Rest well; for your dreams are ephemeral

and fleeting.  Now you see ephemeral:
it is a blessed curse that tends to turn;
and when you try to keep a memory,
it crumbles, back to dust.  My hard worked art,
my masterpiece, remain only in dreams,
and when you wake and live your fleeting life

then barely are the fragments filled with life.
This is my penalty: ephemeral
in waking life, eternal in a dream.
I labour long and hard at every turn
to make my masterpiece, to make my art
but when you wake, ’tis but a memory.

You live to scorn the passing memory;
the celebration of your waking life
does grieve me much.  I live to make my art
and every masterpiece ephemeral
exhausts me just a little more; so turn
out all your lustrous lights; just sleep and dream

eternal dreams of passing memory;
and turn away from waking, living life;
and bask in the ephemeral—my art.
Francesca Leung enjoys reading webcomics, is a fan of Queen, and finds knitting to be rather therapeutic.

© 2008, Francesca Leung