Winter Dreaming

Dec 2005 backyard
photo by Mr. Bear, December 2005


I am still forming,
I am not yet myself,
but I dream a lover to come—
someone who will know me
from the left side,
someone who will remember my eyes
from a place where people spoke differently,
someone who will call me
white moon and lotus,
the one who dances in my heart.

People now say what I do is dreaming,
and useless.
But I say winter dreaming keeps me on earth.

We ourselves are a dream of the earth.
She filled us with her mind.
And I am dreaming a life to come
as she once dreamt mine.

—Harriet Ann Ellenberger, 1990

Published by

Harriet Ann Ellenberger

writer, editor, translator; co-founded the journal "Sinister Wisdom"

15 thoughts on “Winter Dreaming”

  1. I have read this piece a number of times and am struck how beautifully it resonates with the winter solstice that comes tomorrow. All I can say is please keep digging through those journals… no wonder you are not writing now – you have too much past material that needs to “come to light” – I am going to include this poem in my ritual.


    1. A poem is such a little thing (you can read this one in 90 seconds), but the journey of arriving at the final little thing is full of weirdness and surprises and, you got it, wonder. Must be the journey which keeps luring me on because if I look at poems as products, so sorry, they’re puny compared to what it took to make them. Which is pretty weird in itself.


  2. Some lines have a specificity that lets us see something in the speaker:
    from the left side
    from a place where people spoke differently
    But I say winter dreaming keeps me on earth

    and the last 4 lines never sit still for me, like air, water, earth, fire breathing


    1. “Winter Dreaming” literally came true seven years after I wrote it. so it has remained one of my favourites, even though it mystifies me, what happened during the writing. I inadvertently slipped between worlds, or times, or something … accidentally wandered into a parallel universe, maybe? Anyway, you’re right, the last four lines never sit still, and I don’t know why they’re so alive. But they always make me feel good.


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