Poetry: Heather Sager

Heather Sager
Moving Up (A Vision)


I envisioned the human dream

as an upward staircase

in a ballroom

the size of a universe.

The ballroom down below,

for dancing, whirling,

living, plots, and creations,

and the staircase, for dreaming,

climbing, wandering, dozing.

The dreamers on the staircase

did not just forever elevate,

like an airship that left

the atmosphere for the

dark matter waves of outer space.

Somehow, the staircase could be used

to access more layers of the ballroom,

try new things: new levels and forms

of dancing, whirling, plotting,

living, creating—

all that we had dreamed up

while climbing.

Human life’s cornucopia was even wilder

in this model. And, we could get

great views of what was happening

on other floors.

So, the staircase did not go

up to the individual rooms

and then to bed, but to more layers

of living. Some of us, whether

dreamers, writers,

parents, immigrants, children, doers,

many peoples standing together,

we just cannot get enough

of dreaming and I suspect

it will always be this way. We will invent

more layers if we have to. We will invent

new ways of being.




The tolling of the evening bells


I stood outside in the cold rain

of an early spring

that refused to warm up.

Rain drummed on the roofs and trees,

and the gray clouds

hanging in the deathly white sky

beamed a chill into me.

I convulsed from the shivers,

but forced myself

to face the open.

Perhaps I wanted to remind myself

of the skin’s delicate trample

of goosebumps.

The church bells tolled hugely

from across the field,

and the crack in the air scurried the rain

and scattered plucky birds.

I wondered how it was to be dead.




The Opposite Zoo


That was the summer a farmer

was caught hiding his farm.


A woman spotted the animals

milling behind a wall of trees.


That was the summer

I dreamt of stained glass.


Fantasy novels begged to be cracked open.


Often, there were no other people out

around the park and pond.


I claimed the land as my turf

and roamed freely.


But there was a special program on television

everyone watched. When the television special ended,


everyone emerged from their homes,

and flooded the walking paths.

People talked, being civilized. At this time,


among all this noise, I became

a panicked rhino hiding from people at the zoo.

The invaders

had claimed my home. I fled.



Heather Sager’s most recent poetry appears in OtolithsPoetry Pacific, The Bluebird Word, Version (9), The Orchards, Red Eft, MagmaBluepepperPoets' EspressoActiveMuseYgdrasil, Shabd Aaweg, The Bosphorus Review of Books, Down in the Dirt, Fahmidan Journal, Lothlorien, PPP Ezine, Trouvaille Review, Red Wolf, and more. Her recent fiction appears in The Stray Branch, The Fabulist, Friendship Lifespan Vol. 3 from Pure Slush Books, and others. Heather lives in Illinois.

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