Dust by Dorianne Laux

Someone spoke to me last night,
told me the truth. Just a few words,
but I recognized it.
I knew I should make myself get up,
write it down, but it was late,
and I was exhausted from working
all day in the garden, moving rocks.
Now, I remember only the flavor —
not like food, sweet or sharp.
More like a fine powder, like dust.
And I wasn’t elated or frightened,
but simply rapt, aware.
That’s how it is sometimes —
God comes to your window,
all bright light and black wings,
and you’re just too tired to open it.


This is a poem I’ve been walking with, literally, for the past while, learning the lines as I walk my way through these times. And as the words became written on my heart, they gave voice to some of my own experience.

Laux’s recognition of a truth spoken to her in the night felt like a description of some of my dreams. Dreams in which I hear words that resonate, that I don’t try to ascribe to any particular source, that arise from my own experience. And hasn’t that happened to you? Half awake you know you should write down what you have heard but you can’t quite wake yourself up enough to do it. By morning it is usually gone except for an elusive sense of something important having happened.

She remembers a flavor of the words, like a fine powder, like dust, something ephemeral, difficult to hold onto, easily blown away by the breeze. It left her feeling simply rapt, aware, captivated, mindful even without understanding.

I so love how she reminds us That’s how it is sometimes, the ordinariness of it despite hearing something we know to be true. God, whoever that is to you, comes to your window and you’re just too tired to open it. Yes, that’s just how it is sometimes and yet we know we have heard something important, memorable.

12 thoughts on “Dust by Dorianne Laux

  1. Dear Jan – Doesn’t Laux so accurately capture the human condition when it comes to awareness! Moments of lucidity, distraction, fatigue. Yet, as you say, “we know we have heard something important, memorable” that stays with us. Thank you. xoxo


  2. Thanks for this Jan. This one goes deeeeep…… Yes, this happens to me for sure – I tend to trust that at some level I have taken it in – Spirit is creative this way I figure –


  3. So rarely now do I remember my dreams. Even snippets slip out before I’m awake enough to pull them into full consciousness. Just this morning I woke from a late dream and I had it, enough, something significant enough to hold onto. And then by the time I was awake enough to write it down it was gone. My hope is that Mystery has other places She stores things in my memory besides my conscious mind which is cracked and slippery too easily letting things as fine as dust vanish into nothing more than a sparkle drifting away in the new light. What a lovely reflection, Jan, with a wonderful poem. Thank you.


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