Praise for Daydream

A Richly Textured Collection Full of Moody Imagery
Reviewer: Jenny Chalek (Louisville, KY United States) 

Written over a period of time ranging from the author's early teenage years to the present and arranged in chronological order, this series of short poems touches on topics as varied as they are evocative. As I progressed through the collection, I noticed the expected treatises on social injustices, relational indifference, and other such poetic "old standbys." 

However, I gradually became aware of a subtle difference in sensibility between what I was reading here and what I was used to seeing elsewhere. What stood out was a certain "matter-of-factness," and a lack of didacticism or drama. The emotions came through mostly through images that were in some cases so vivid as to seem tactile. In the poem "I flirt with death," for example, the cadence and rhythm of the words seems so immediate and "light" in comparison to the gravity of the subject matter that there is precious little feeling of any barrier between the reader and the events in the poem - causing all the more powerful a rush of blood to the head as the actual meaning of the words starts to sink in. 

But, as its title suggests, "Daydream" doesn't dwell on only one type of poem, preferring instead to wander from topic to topic as if on a whim. There are lighthearted pieces to balance out the dark ones, as well as plenty in between. Overall, it is an unusual and powerful collection.

In April of 2003, I attended a creative writing workshop conducted by Natalie Goldberg, bestselling author of Writing Down the Bones and Wild Mind. In a postcard to me, she wrote:

"Dear Robin, Thank you for Daydream. I really enjoyed reading it. Esp. liked 'Dreams (To Dad)', 'Grandad', 'What do you believe in?', but so many are good. All my best, Natalie Golberg"


Poem from book

Step Into a Photograph

Step into a photograph

A picture of the past

Where you'll find your 

childhood friends

In a place that didn't last

Spite the cruel departure 

Of those days that have 

gone by

And step into a photograph

Don't let fond memories die.

Poem from book

Dreams (To Dad) 

Your face rests in me
on the side where hers isn’t
where my wings sleep...
where the colors of my semi-
forgotten dreams lie mingling...

Your eyes are not always closed–
You still smile
And the colors of my dreams
are finding new life
from pale to vivid
they are taking shape...
And you are blinking
and smiling
and waking up
Not the you that you became
But the best of what you must
have been.

The face of sleepy days
in newspaper hats
Cuddling with your small daughters
The smaller of whom
was me...
Am I?

Is it silly to wonder if
you hear my thoughts?
If thoughts were like sounds
in another plane?
Is that the plane you’re flying, Dad?
I still love you.