Thursday, February 4, 2016



I had a dream the other night. 
When I awakened, I took it to pen so as not to lose the felt sense the dream soul conveyed to me.  I’ve been deconstructing the felt sense and taking the dream image back into the past then forward into art to hear the story a dream dreams.  Here is my surmise.

The felt sense of the dream is sacrificial. The dream is of a dead chicken offered to the kitchen for roasting, offered in a specific way, with its breasts plumped up and leaning forward, a perfect offering, I think in the dream.

The kitchen is my alma mater, an affectionate name for where I learn the particular art of psyche-making which I practice, mythopoetics.  I have to step away briefly to meet with my poetic adviser.  When I come back, to my horror, someone has stolen the breasts of the bird!

Before retiring for the night I had been reading Russ Lockhart’s “The Final Interlude” before bedtime as well as thinking about roasting a chicken for Sunday dinner the next evening. I get as far as Russ telling the story of his daughter, Sharon’s death before I go to sleep.  In the narrative, Russ begins musing on what Death wants for the soul.  He thinks it is to lead the soul alone to the alone.

I, in the role of the dream ego, am able to fold the remaining parts, the legs, wings, thighs, ribcage, fat and skin back down and in on themselves causing the dream chicken to be restored to its original form except that it is a perfect miniature of the original and can fit entirely in the palm of my hand.

Missing from the dream of the missing white meat is the fire. Upon waking, I recognize in the dream a sunbird I liken to a parodars bird in the chicken, aka ‘who forsees’ the way Prometheus in the Greek myth of fire theft mimics forethought in the sacrificial trick he plays on Zeus at the banquet of gods.  The dream also leaves me with a feeling for who or what Pandora is in relation to and forever more: more than a mere chick  “relaying” within and throughout the big of man, the little king, "man the player/creator" (homo ludens) but a sacrificial vessel for soul substances and inner sanctum where, in love-making, a deep imagination peels/peals from the rosa mundi of Isis.  The dream seems to be constructing a kind of basilisk,a bird that is no bird (but a hermetic guide of souls to an underworld) shaping a basilica in miniature, temple, miniature hearth or throne room similar to a naos. Naos means inner sanctum. (For more on this imaginal life see footnote 5 a,b and c.)

Miniatures such as the naos pictured above were dug up in archeological digs.  They date back to Moabite worship and, it is suggested, belong to a temple union depicting the oneness of Yahwah and his Ashtoreth.  Moabites of antiquity are polytheists. There are no figures imaged in this miniature temple, only tracings of a double throne. 

 Both basilisk and basilica are cognate with a Greek word that translates “little king”.

 Now what might a “little death” be up to leading the soul in this magnificent dream journey the dream dreams?

Psychic substances, led to be alone in the alone, are led to their inner sanctum. So led, they are led to be embodied
not “flesh”.  Fleshed.  

I lay at rest, resting and dream
an emptied nest in a movable nesting
the lost world where I lay, stunned
moved by losses throughout my own
a way of knowing moves in
and, laid to rest
lets something else having pierced my breast
gotten under my skin, diminish, move away
move on.

My rest and my restless rest sweet word
sweet felt bird sense so here in hand!
Thy breasted bird returns in likeness stolen
& renders you small―_ _all not read you hold
―a cradle; your big history I feel come rest
in mine. Come then, centerless nourisher & fuse
you, who must be divine to poetize this small
word hand upholding that whole world
and days in the kitchen have blazed.

©2016 Nocturnal Making: Bird In Stolen Breast
stephanie pope


1a.The image is from a dream that makes me think of an earlier poem of mine, Holiday Bird mainly because the dream bird is presented to the poet’s kitchen for cooking. In my dream I have returned to the poet’s kitchen because I have come into a large sum of money and contemplate whether I should return to school, applying some of my newfound wealth toward advanced studies. In waking life no such thing has taken place nor do I have a strong desire to literalize this imagination.  At a certain dream moment when the chicken is presented to the kitchen for roasting, it is offered with the chicken breast raised up or plumped forward and the dream me thinks, “This is a perfect offering.”  I have to leave momentarily to discuss with my poetic adviser these matters that bring me back to the poet’s kitchen.  After a few minutes I return to the kitchen to cook the chicken but to my horror someone has absconded with the chicken breast leaving only the rib cage of the bird, the legs, thighs and wings, fat, and skin intact. Nonetheless I fold these inward to fill in the absent center.  This has the effect of restoring the bird to its original form but now it is so small the entire bird fits in the palm of my hand.  Absent from the dream is not only the white meat but the fire that will cook the bird.

1b. The poem, Holiday Bird interrogates the bird holiday (Christmas) asking “how will I be red and not read?”  Upon waking, I begin to muse how a diminutive word/image/form returns such felt sense in a gap lying between the dream image and what words may and may not mean.

2. The dream seemed to sequence its statement by employing hypocorism, the use of a diminutive form to accentuate an endearment, a felt sense of tenderness and a deepening level of intimacy.  For instance, an example of hypercorism in the bird holiday story, A Christmas Carol is “Tiny Tim.”  

3. For more personal poetics developing the bird/word imagery see the following:  Holiday Bird, The Felt Sense of Birds, The Muse: Pt. 4 Poetic ExperienceGhost Flowers

4. Come Holy Ghost, Creator blest and in my soul take up thy rest. 
            –from the Catholic prayer, Veni, Creator Spiritus

5. Hermes (hermetic thinking)

The works of Hermes Trismegistus are mentioned by such classical writers as Plutarch, Tertullian, Iamblichus and Porphyry. Two of the works discovered at Nag Hammadi deal specifically with Hermetic philosophy. One records a series of conversations between Hermes and Asclepius, another is a text which some scholars believe may have been used in Hermetic mystery schools titled “On the Ogdoad and the Ennead.” Within all Hermetic teachings, Hermes is called Trismegistus or “Thrice Great” because he knows the three wisdoms of the universe - astrology, theurgy and alchemy.
(5a) astrology

 In Hermetic philosophy, astrology deals with what is termed collectively as “The Operation of the Moon.” The movements of the stars and planets have an unseen metaphysical meaning that goes beyond mere physical science.

(5b) theurgy

Theurgy, titled “The Operation of the Stars” involves the operant aligning with angels and archangels through the use of magic.

(5c) alchemy

Alchemy in Hermetic thought is “The Operation of the Sun” which attempts to purify the baser parts of one’s nature. In Hermeticism, the search for gold is a spiritual transformation within oneself rather than the quest to physically turn a base metal into gold.

see Isis, Rosa Mundi by Linda Iles, ArchDrs., Prs. H., GDC, SA

6.  "...whosoever shall give to my Parodars-bird his fill of meat shall go directly to paradise." - quote from the 
Avendidatexts of the Avesta Vedas