Issue 29


Dream Catcher 29 takes the reader on an astonishing journey.   A voyage propelled by the power that words have to create, in a single phrase, new evocative vistas of time and place, to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary, to take a step beyond the obvious into mystery and ambivalence.   Again and again the reader’s expectations are confounded by a sudden twist, by light striking from a different direction, a shaft of wisdom, a flash of humour.

There’s horror here, but love too. There’s anger, there’s death, there’s the redeemming power of the everyday, and the despair of the lost and alone.

Our contributions come from every corner of the British Isles and from France, from Italy, from Canada and the USA.  Some contibutors are well known: Mario Susko, Kenneth Steven, Helen Burke;  while for a few this is their first publication.

Naked in the Bus Queue

The Duchess of Devonshire,
walked barefoot along the shingled beach;
remembering the time she’d been naked in the bus queue,
and the bus driver wouldn’t let her on the bus.

The sea seethed, spooled, unwound
around her feet,
soaking them;
but on she walked;

and all she could think of was the time
she’d been naked in the bus queue.
What had possessed her that day?
Well, it had been hot;

but that wasn’t the reason –
no, that wasn’t the reason.

David Danbury

The Old Pig

He was old, you told me.
The pig I now imagine , hanging sweet as a bag of sugar out in the barn.
Your job was always to feed him – and him
licking your hand as if it were pressed silk.
So many times , you told me the story.
Your guts turning, churning – knowing his future.
Brushing the long crease of your skirt –
watching him eat . Fat , contented.
Turning the iron handle of the sty door –
a kind jailor you must have seemed.
The sky above the door – blue as your eyes.
And the straw in his heart – stiff with fright on that last day.
Both of you willing that day not to come, but knowing it would.
Your face turned away to the sky –
love and anguish mixed with mud – a bloody cocktail.
Every ambush requires that there are two.
Your hand on the door , closing it.
The old pig , listening for your voice – found only silence.
Turn his face to the sky , – you tell the men.
You replay the ambush many times through all the years.
Because the pig forgives you.
Even , as they bring the knife towards him.
He forgives you.

Helen Burke

A Toymaker

of some renown sent his ex-wife
the gift of an exquisite
little horse, sorrel flock,
a sable mane, a sable tail, a fetlock

raised. And inside he sealed
three plastic soldiers: crude,
immovable, unpainted,
shop-bought in their hundreds.

David O’Hanlon