Saturday, 26 April 2014

in sepia

again, last night, I fell asleep
in sweet words
and sepia visions.

you put aside my ancient book
– the great drama of existence –

and kissed my forehead 
and I dreamed:

we were meandering,
free spirits,
through lovely streets
on one of our good walks,
past . . .

delicious book shops
and flower stands
and fragrant café wafts
of coffee and fresh baked bread aromas.

my heart was light as air,
for it felt as though,
we were
. . . pleasantly . . .

tousled on life’s windy breezes
while scraps of blurry print
and stereoscopic images

fluttered gently about us,
in warm ecru linen ashes:
little enigmas, I didn’t question . . .

and in the peace, I said:  I think, I must be dreaming,
and you –  kissed my forehead 

and whispered . . . rest. 

note:  Sepia ink was used for writing and drawing until the 19th century.  As with all ink – it fades with exposure to sunlight.  Sepia tones are used in photography – the hue resembling the effect of aging in old photographs.

photos:  antique stereoscope with sepia stereoscope cards (stereoscopes are devices – popular from the 1850s to the 1930s in which stereoscopy, or 3D imaging,  created or enhanced an illusion of depth).

photos of Paris taken by my father during World War II atop my university 17th century literature anthology – W. Bourke 

 © 2014 Wendy Bourke  


  1. I love where you take us with your poems, Wendy. Perhaps my favorite part:

    you put aside my ancient book
    – the great drama of existence –

  2. He often does put aside one of my ancient books - figuratively and literally - I suppose. I think that's one of the nicest things about having a partner to go through life with . . . They're on it.

  3. i find an old world charm with little enigmas and peace in the the title...

  4. Thanks, Sumana. I chose “in sepia” for the title because I had read somewhere that sepia ink fades in sunlight – in other words, in the light of day. (And that concept intrigued me, poetically.) I gather, all ink fades in sunlight – though, “sepia”, probably a bit more so – because it is old ink (from another time).

  5. Amazing .. the blend of reality and dream... those images one keep inside and can wander in and out from.. and sepia is very apt to describe this... nostalgia ?

    1. That is always such an otherworldly feeling. For me, when a dream takes a turn that is so different from anything one would experience in reality it occurs to me that I am in a dream – and I wake up, sometimes just for seconds. But I think that is how the wandering in and out of dreams happens. And it can be amazing.

      And yes, sepia does represent nostalgia, I suppose. And likely our dreams are comprised of snatches and bits and thoughts that bubble up from our past.

  6. Love, love, love the mood of this piece! And those first three lines settled me nicely right into it ... like a cozy overstuffed chair with chintz cushions ... !

    1. Thank you, Susan. You have an amazing blog – very diverse and intriguing. And I always enjoy “settling in” when I visit there.

  7. "pleasantly tousled on life’s windy breezes" sounds such a wonderful place to be. Very nice and cozy ambience captured in your poem!

  8. I have always found those walks in light billowy breezes so refreshing - cleansing, even.

  9. what a beautiful dream...a place of great solace and comfort that comes through in your share that together is beautiful thing too...

  10. Thanks, Brian. I always enjoy hearing from you.

  11. Oh I so loved this in so many ways--beautiful writing and it makes me feel so much--

    1. Thanks Audrey - some lovely comments on this piece. Now, if I could just figure out what I did right??? Smiles