Greener Pastures

Words of the Wise

I like dreams of the future better than the history of the past.

– Thomas Jefferson

The Stuff that Dreams are Made Of

In Class

On painted clouds

There with body not mind

Daydreaming school time out of ex-


Poetic Truth

“O God, I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space—were it not that I have bad dreams.”

-Hamlet, Hamlet, Act two, scene two

-William Shakespeare

Would You Rather…?

“Would you rather live in the United States or, um, Spain?”

“The U.S.! Everyone is fat there.”

“Hahaha! So you want to be walking around in a country full of fat white people?!”

“No! I won’t stand out! I’ll get to eat all I want, and then I’ll be fat, too! Hahahaa!!   What about you? Would you rather live in the U.S. or Spain?”

“No, no! That’s not original! Come up with your own!”

“O.k., O.k. hmm… Would you rather live in… uhh… England or France?”

“France. I hear everything is beautiful there.”

“Nice change from here.”

“Yeah . . . Would you rather get out of the LRA or get our parents back?”

“ . . . ”

“Abiodun, did you—“

“I think about them all the time…”

“I know… me too.”

“What if we hadn’t had to—“

“I know.”

“I imagine them every day.”


“Yeah…   Oluremi, do you think that dreams come true?”

“…I don’t know anymore, little brother.”

Ultimate Truth

While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

-Matthew 27:19

All Day, Each Day

Empty, hungry, starving. All day. Each day.

Longing, dreaming for a bite to swallow.

Crying, mourning, dying. All day, each day

So many others hopelessly follow.

What would I do for one tiny bite?

To satisfy one small part of my life?

I would give everything; I would—will—fight

I dream of the end of this mournful strife.

All day, each day, fighting for a morsel

Dreaming, hoping, praying for food.

One day, this day, good news rings like a bell

Cookies of dirt put me in a good mood


As the dirt crumbles, the taste is unfurled,

I dream it is the best taste in the world.

Poetic Truth

“Dreams indeed are ambition, for the very substance of the ambitious is merely the shadow of a dream.”

-Guildenstern, Hamlet, Act two, Scene two

-William Shakespeare

Merrily Row

Row, row, row your boat

Gently down the stream

Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily

Life is but a dream

Words of the Wise

The invariable mark of a dream is to see it come true.

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Diary of an Irresponsible Teen

Dear Diary,

Do you know the feeling like you always seem to be making the wrong decision? That’s me. My life has always been one wrong choice after another. I am a zit on the face of God that he is waiting to just pop and get rid of. Except, uhh, yeah. This time, I sort of ended up pregnant. I know what you’re thinking “What the @#$%! You’ve really @&#$ed up this time, Melissa!” Well, thank you for your opinion, but I already know. Trust me, I know. Everything I do, every kick in my body tells me that I’m an irresponsible 16-year-old that &^%$ed her life and future by having one fun night. So, I sketched out some of my options and came up with this:

What I’m going to do about my “little accident”

  1. 1. I could have the darn thing
  2. I could “terminate” it
  3. I could smoke pot. Lots of pot
  4. 4. I could have someone push me down the stairs and hope for the best
  5. I could drink a lot of beer
  6. I could give it up for adoption

I was thinking about the nauseousness that comes with numbers 1, 3, 5, and 6. I thought about all the morning sickness, nine whole entire months without coffee, and I was, like, imagining the birthing process, and I was, like, no way, no thanks, I don’t want this.

But then, I was shopping this afternoon, and I saw these baby booties at the mall, and they were like, so small… small, and, beautiful. And I dreampt that my Baby’s feet filled those beautiful shoes and I dreampt about Her little fingers and Her little ears. And, well, I bought the baby booties.

Maybe I’ll rethink myself in the role of #1.

Ultimate Truth

…he said to them, “I have had a dream that troubles me, and I want to know what it means.”

-Daniel 2:3

Painful Reminders

Every which way I toss and turn, there are fresh, smarting bruises to remind me:

My father got angry tonight.

I don’t listen

I’m not as smart as my sister

I’m not as talented as my brother

I always have my head in the clouds

I spend too much time writing

My room is never clean

I’m too fat

I’m lazy

I’m ugly

I don’t deserve the roof over my head

I ask too much

I never obey him

I’m not the daughter he had always wanted

Why can’t I be as perfect as his other children?

I shouldn’t have been born.

I’ve heard it all before, but still

It makes me cry.

I close my eyes.

I pretend that

I’d actually had enough courage to send the letter hiding in my desk drawer addressed to the man

I wish had fathered me

I imagine that he took pity on me

I imagine that he sent child services to come save me

I imagine that he adopted me

I imagine that he doesn’t yell

I imagine that he wraps me in a big bear hug

I imagine that he loves me

I dream that I’m happy, and for a while,

I am.

Words of the Wise

If you lose hope, somehow you lose the vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you go on in spite of it all. And so today I still have a dream.

The Trumpet of Conscience

– Martin Luther King, Jr.

Peer Pressure

She crept into the hotel room and locked the door behind us. She scurried over to the bedside table and pulled a plastic baggie and a two-inch-long straw out of her deep coat pocket. The baggie was bulging with a white powder. She peeled open the Ziploc and poured a line of the substance directly onto the tabletop. She put the bag down and reached for the straw. I gently placed my hand on hers “Belle, you don’t want to do this.” She hit my hand away and whirled around to face me.

“Don’t tell me what I do and don’t want!” She screeched.

“Stop.” This was firm, but gentle; I would never raise my voice to Anabelle.

“Why should I? They said it’d make me feel better. They said it’s what I’ve been looking for!”

“And you’re going to let them tell you what you do and don’t want?”

“Don’t use my words against me!” As her voice lowered to an urgent whisper, I realized just how angry she was.

“Ana, I’m sorry.” She turned away from me and picked up the straw. “Please.” I quietly begged, “for me. Don’t…” She didn’t understand how hard it was for me to bear my soul like this, how hard it was for me to see her this weak. “Just … don’t… do it.”

“This is what I need, Akeem.”

No, Anabelle. No it’s not.”


Listen!” I broke under the pressure of holding my deteriorating friend together, “I’ve always been here for you, I’ve always been with you, I’ve always been your friend. I know you. These people that gave you this—“  I gestured at the bag—“They aren’t your friends. They don’t care about you the way I do… the way I always have. I’ve known you long enough to know what you want, what you need. Listen to me, please.” She turned slowly towards me. Tears were beginning to well in her eyes. I could feel her heart tearing within her fragile chest.

“You’re just a figment of my imagination—you’re just my imaginary friend.”

“Anabelle! I—“

“How can a thought know anything? How could you ever have mattered to me? You don’t know what’s good for me.” She turned away from me again and my heart shattered. “I don’t need you anymore. I never did… Just… leave me alone and—and don’t come back.”

I stayed just long enough to watch her snort the line of powder, then wept as I slipped into the recesses of her mind.

Words of the Wise

I have had dreams and I have had nightmares, but I have conquered my nightmares because of my dreams.

– Jonas Salk

What do he dream?

I used to think that he do to me what everybody’s uncle do to them. Thought that it was normal for relatives to show affections like that. But now I realize what he been doin’ to me all these years. I cain’t get help from mother or dady. They don’ care, they think its O.K. My uncle wont never stop. Not till he’s dead. I don’ think Aunt Salvavidya know about it. If she did, she kill herself. She tried when she found out that her husband was doin’ with cousin Aisling what he doin’ with me now. Bless her po’, po’ heart. He jus’ cum in every Fridy and Satdy night an’ say: Ashlin, it time and he lay ontoppa me an’ crush my breath outta me an’ hurt me all night long. I ain’t easy, I just got in too deep before I realized what were goin’ on an’ now there ain’t no one who could make him stop and if I try to, he’ll jus’ hurt me more.

I wonder what he see in me. Everybody always told me I weren’t very purty and I weren’t very smart. Just kinda plain and stupid.

Maybe he dreams I’s purty.

Maybe he dreams I’s smart.

Maybe he dreams I’s easy.

Maybe he dreams I’ll make him a baby someday, ‘cause Aunt Salvavidya never could.

Maybe he dreams he havin’ fun.

Maybe he dreams I’s Aunt Salvavidya. Or Maybe he dreams I’s Aunt Salvavidya when she‘us young

I dreams he ain’t there.

Poetic Truth

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.

-Edgar Allen Poe

I Have A Dream

“…And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of “interposition” and “nullification” — one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; ‘and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together’…”

–Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Ultimate Truth

Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him all the more.

-Genesis 37:5

Sweet Dreamer

She sits there, obviously in her own world, not moving, smiling slightly, staring off into space. I wonder what she’s thinking of, I wonder where she is. How aware she is of the outside world.

Usually, when you think of daydreamers, you think of small children or bored students. I’m glad, even after all these years, she hasn’t lost the capacity to daydream.

At least, this is what I tell myself. I tell myself I can’t hear the one long, lifeless note of the heart monitor. I tell myself she’s in her own bed at home. I tell myself she can hear me, but I’m excessively boring, So she just sits there, obviously in her own world, not moving, smiling slightly, staring off into space.

Ultimate Truth

‘In the last days, God says,

I will pour out my Spirit on all people.

Your sons and daughters will prophesy,

your young men will see visions,

your old men will dream dreams.’

-Acts 2:17

To die, To sleep; To sleep, perchance to dream

it is all oppression

all of it is depression

all of it is pain

none of it is gain

all of lifes dirt and grime

my life just seems to be a crime

why do i live here day after day

wasting my whole life away

all of it hoping for eternal sleep

dreaming wishing imagining that blessed sleep

welcome me into your arms oh god

love me as into death I sweetly nod

Poetic Truth

It is by no means an irrational fancy that, in a future existence, we shall look upon what we think our present existence, as a dream.

-Edgar Allen Poe

But it was all a dream…

“Hey, I get to be the princess this time!”

“Nuh-unh! You were the princess last time!”

“So what? I thought you liked being the Noble Steed?”

“Well, I do, but my only line is ‘neigh’.”

“Do you want to be a magical talking Noble Steed?”


The girls always fight about the rules of our game. I’m the only boy, so I always get to be the Prince/Evil Monster. Well, that’s not exactly true. I have to be the Prince; I get to be the Monster.

“… And what shall we do for the wedding scene?”

Here, I tried to put in my two cents. “C’mon Sarah, do we have to have a wedding scene?” To which both girls responded with an emphatic “Yes!” My vote was immediately out.

“Emily, will you be the Vicar?”

“Oh, Sarah, Why can’t I be the princess?! You always get to get married!”

“Because I’m older!” Here, Sarah decided to be the most mature of the group and stick her tongue out at Emily.

“By three minutes!”

“Respect your elders!”

“Let’s ask Hudson.”

“Hmph. Foine.”

“Hudson, which one of us should get to be the lovely princess who gets to marry you?”

My mom is always telling me that when I get married, I’ll have no say in the wedding plans. Now I have a say. But it’s just a game.

“Why don’t we play ‘Anansi the Spider’ instead?”

Poetic Truth

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

–Langston Hughes


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Filed under Multi-Genre Collection Short Story

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