Issue 34


In Dream Catcher 34 we we continue to feature a wide range of eclectic writing and our search for striking art.  John Creighton’s stunning cover for DC 34 is a fitting introduction to the diverse mix of poems, prose, images and reviews within. We move from Hannah Stone and Andy Humphrey on the bittersweet taste and scent of love and loss to Norman Harrington’s celebration of everyday charisma. On the way there are lunches with a duke, a day out with the dead in Scarborough, the Ring of Brodgar, a two-wheeled contest of speed, Vietnam voices and Judgement Day. Judith Wilkinson translates Menno Wigman. Roger Harvey considers the sources of Mary Shelley’s imagination and there are reviews of recent books by Peter Knaggs, Joanna Ezekiel, Brian Blackwell, Robin Lindsay Wilson, and Ustaz Fitrah.  Well worth a look.

In this issue we review books by Peter Knaggs, Joanna Ezekiel, Brian Blackwell, Robin Linday Wilson, and Uztaz Fitrah.

Escape of the Lammas Hireling

I thought when he married her all would be well,
that her poor torn mind would rest in the cream
of his love and his acres. His little March hare,
he called her, which was kinder than most.
But he knew her to be a creature of sky
and hills, of marshes and dreaming stones,

felt her loneliness knit with his own.
“I’m carrying a hare inside me,” she said
in confession. “For I’ve sinned with the wind.” I wanted
her sane, content, a good wife, wanted
her held while the sun shone clear and the grass,
dew-heavy, grew golden-green for his cows.

But she died giving birth, and yes there were rumours
of a long-legged baby with prominent eyes.
But shoulders hunched, he got on with the jobs
of burying them, tending the cattle, forgetting.
I was glad when the new man came. Distraction,
I thought, from his solitude. They can talk about cows.

This instead. The new man gone
to a better post. And him running after
her through the bogs and the reed-beds of madness.
Mary full of grace intercede for him
yet again. For his meadows lie withered and white
while his poor torn mind leaps wild with the hares.

Pat Simmons

Miss Roberta Frost and The Owls

She’s so used to being acquainted with each night
when all’s black through her windows flecked with rain
that gleam like trays of engagements rings with light
when she can no longer pause, stare down the lane,
its leafless trees, fields emptied of sugar beet,
passed by the one she hopes will come to explain.

All she hears is the pad of shoes as her feet
climb the stairs to undress, lie still, and the cry
of an owl cruising its familiar street
of air, unseen, always aware, no good-bye
to her but telling its mate where it is: height
and distance while it ghosts the empty sky
then it answers a call, turns. It’s still alright
to hear voices, find where she is in the night.

Bob Cooper


Somewhere in the family,
there’s money.
Serious dosh.

When we buried Grandma,
they came from all over:
second cousin this,
distant relative that.

But that bloke?

Mostly local:
East End and Essex.
Celebrating the life
of an old babushka.

But where was he from?
Surely afar,
arriving in such a car.
And in a yellow one.

Was it hired,
just to make a splash?
Or was that his very own
ostentatious vehicular transportation,
seriously flash?

Years before,
Joni Mitchell sang
about a Big Yellow Taxi.

But to turn up
at a cockney cemetery
in a yellow Rolls Royce.

Steve Allen


There’s a sound like cows. Deep, mournful lowing.
It’s coming from me. Now, here, on this floor,
Kneeling, my body’s Christ’s cave – will nobody roll away
The boulder? Do I have to do this all by myself?
I am battling with anguish. I do not want the still,
Concerned face of my husband, the midwife’s talk.
I am riding a rocking horse out to sea.

Then, at last, you come. You slide from me,
Slippery water creature. I am suddenly here
And so are you – throwing cries like splintered glass.
Someone lays you on my belly. I stroke your face.
‘Hello,’ I say. Amazingly you turn to me.
Your eyes are two blue stars. ‘I am your Mother,’
I say, believing it. I breathe, tasting the new world.

Miranda Day