water dream

(image courtesy B.S. Wise)

at night i dream water

big water, unruffled as glass and as clear

blue spanning from feet to horizon

world open wide as a mouth tilted up to the sky.

i pause at the edge, frozen

under my umbrella, cold and naked in my suit,

the water will cover me, swallow me whole like a pill 

inside: you can’t get any closer

but i hang at the edge, tightrope walking.

i like to know what i’m getting into.

and the longer i look, the more i see

down to the bottom where shadows are growing

blues bisect, forms shudder and surge 

jellyjointed hammerhead, viscous fingerling

rise toward the surface like yeasty pudding, 

like balloons, like tears, like ghosts, like dreams.

they say that water is emotion. they say dreams 

shed light. light reveals water, water is sky’s reflection.

overhead, putty-colored clouds writhe and bloom, 

piled like sopping sponges, unformed fingers fumble for me.

I huddle on the edge under my umbrella.

either way, I’m going to get wet, either way.


After a hard week, I was having trouble getting into the mood to write so I thought I’d try something new. Usually, I write first and then search for an image to accompany my words but this time, I found the image first.  Photographer B.S. Wise kindly agreed.  I am both surprised and intrigued by the response it evoked since I don’t really write poetry and  I would characterize my voice as edgy, while this turned out quite surreal.  I think I like it.  

What do you do to get in the mood to write?  


About Anna Fonté

Girl in the Hat, aka Anna Fonté, is an author who writes about invisibility, outsider status, everyday monsters, and her attempts to befriend the neighborhood crows. The things she writes want you to look at them.


  1. “the water will cover me, swallow me whole like a pill” – really great line.

  2. macdougalstreetbaby

    Beautiful, Anna. I especially like how you finish it off.
    I take my inspiration from many sources: angst, anger, jolliness, the need for affection, misunderstanding, understanding. The best is something you keyed in on here. When what I began thinking turns itself upside down and presents something entirely different. I love to be startled by my own writing.

    • Yes! I think that’s what some people are talking about when they say that a piece or a character wrote itself. Its not magical thinking, its just a metaphor for what happens sometimes if you let it.

  3. Swallow me whole like a pill inside. Great feeling image. Love the sound images, shudder, surge, sopping sponges. Clouds writhe and bloom, fantastic imagery. Subtle Sexy song.

  4. Mike

    This belongs in the new yorker

  5. This is gorgeous, definitely surreal. The jellyjointed hammerhead, the yeasty pudding . . . Lovely and strange and evocative all the way through.

    Send this out, Anna.

  6. recoverythrumylens

    To get in the mood to write, I either exercise first which seems to shake up ideas so they rise to my consciousness, or I make a point of doing so first thing in the morning when I’m closest to the sub-conscious.

  7. I rarely write now, except my 1500 Saturdays blog, as photography is using up all my passion but I used to write a lot of poetry… I find falling in love or indeed out of it! always inspired me..not to write love poetry though, oddly enough

  8. Either way…either way…Resignation at the end….Loved this poem

  9. Oh this is perfection, Anna. So lyrical and timely – I’m going to the ocean in the morning!

  10. rainang

    hmmm getting in d mood to write? let’s see, stare at the screen, read other’s works, drink some coffee….this poem has a nice mood to it, dreamy….at night I dream water, that makes me wanna dive… 🙂 thanks…

  11. I suppose I am always in the mood to right! I would post every single day if I had the time because throughout the day I see or hear something I would like to share with the rest of the world. Not to mention, the words in books I read — I get excited to finally type them onto a post. So a better question for me, is “How do you find the time to write?” =D

  12. A.F.— I did not get an opportunity to comment yesterday, so I am back again.

    I don’t think it’s unusual that your poetic voice is different from your prose voice— to me that’s kind of like describing your singing voice as being different from your speaking voice.

    In this extended simile, let me say that I am thrilled by your singing voice. More, please. Your instincts for poetry are really fine-tuned. Love this poem. Really, really stands up, A.F.— more please, more!

    • Hey C.B.–
      Interesting about the voices. I never considered that before. And I am always amazed that hearing a person speak gives absolutely no idea what their singing voice will sound like. In conversation, even Nina Simone probably sounded nondescript.

      • And the converse can happen too— I’ve met people with honeyed speaking voices whose singing voices had an appealing grit to them.

        Now I’m wondering about Simone’s speaking voice. Oooh, that’s a good question!

  13. “I don’t really write poetry.”

    I beg to differ. This is wonderful, shows the wonder and mystery that a body of water can evoke. IMakes me want to go to my family’s summer place back in Canada…

  14. these days it’s: i see the humor in something that makes me REALLY angry. love your poem Anna. continue…

  15. I think you are all of the above.
    Poetry is in all, ramblings included.
    To let go and simply write. .
    This was the exact spiral, loved it.

  16. Hey Anna! Amazingly written, I must say! I love to write to! I’d love to follow your writings, hoping the same from you! Keep up the good work! 🙂


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