Dream-inspired poems
Written by
Ling Lee Hinkle
August 2015
Written by
Ling Lee Hinkle
August 2015

There are different types of writers. Technical ones like my friends Anne and Ruth who form words to fit any subject. Novelists like my college acquaintance Michelle who will get her story published next year. Then, there’s poets like me who live and write serendipitously, looking for invisible signs in the universe, unseen by others, through dreams and premonitions. Many of my poems evolved from dreams.

Below are my three favorite poems that occupy my dreamscape. The first one is call Assessments which was written in 2009. None of my friends get it but they say they like the rhythm. The second poem is called Crush. I wrote a PG-13 version of it in high school and updated it recently to convey the true depiction that I wanted to capture in the last stanza. The third poem is called White lies. It explores Chinese folklore paganism as I lived and understood it. It's a visual poem, unfortunately, SW readers will not see the 3-panel formation as it was originally created in the mid 1990s. I will do my best to re-create the original picture of the poem.


I was dreaming that Debbie and I
Were going to study
For a test
She said I said that the teacher said
We couldn’t do it a certain way
Which was:
Divide the questions between her and me
And two others.
Then, I told her maybe I was wrong
And that we should ask:
Then the teacher said it was alright.

When we took the test,
We settled in a school room
Perhaps John Hughs
Because a teacher,
I recognized,
Passed by
And whispered something
In my ear…

And there was one test
Which all the teachers administered differently.
Our teacher who looked like Betty White
Said we had one hour to do ten.

There were pictures with black outlines,
One of them had a biracial boy named Michigan,
With blue eyes and curly hair.
We were supposed to write a paragraph
That matched the picture
To show our writing ability.

On my fifth picture,
Even though,
I knew
I did not have time
To finish

I wrote a silly poem:

There was a lady
Who liked chocolate
So she put some on her tongue
She neither
Liked to swish it around her gums
Nor have it with rum
So she swallowed it whole
And she was done!

I kept repeating it over and over so
That I would remember it
Long after this dream…



She whispered
under diluted lights,
dreams, in the gymnasium.


She saw
his satin flesh
barren ripples
concealed chest
with her delicious eyes.

She saw
his smile trigger laughter
echoing through her throat


Beaded sweat fastened
onto her hair.
Bodies entwined
like genetic coding
and evaporated
into helium.

White lies

hang herbs
open doors
gild spectors

rename christenings
recount numbers
reline toothpicks

regroup furniture
remove mirror
redress annals


flit                          flail


tread                      trace

flowers dress

listen mother
obey father
trust heaven

herbs drunk
spirits guided
doors closed

Let's be friends

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  • Ling Lee Hinkle

    Thank you, Sakki Selznick for your comment. I just looked up your profile and hope to read some of your posts soon and look forward to reading about your process in submitting your work to SheWrites.

  • These are lovely, Ling Lee. And I love the prose before the poems, too.