Friday, December 13, 2019

$1,200 Grant from the WA State Arts Commission

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The WA State Arts Commission has just granted the Chrysanthemum Literary Society $1,200 for its Chrysanthemum 2020 Poetry Anthology and a public reading at the C & P Coffee in West Seattle. We deeply thank the WA State Arts Commission for its clear vision in meaningful and necessary poetry for the times we are coping with. 

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Koon Woon ----------- nonfiction

TOO LONG A STORY by koon woon (draft)

Julie A.Dickson ---- four poems


Single bird perched upon snow covered tree
he huddles, head nestled out of the wind
swaying his thin frame ‘mong branches blown free,
desolate landscape, lone bird wonders when

this storm will subside, the sun to emerge.
Snow covers feathers, his beak under wing.
Lifts up his head, storm seems on the verge;
sun breaks through snow sky, he’s ready to sing.

Flies over meadow now coated with snow,
straight to a farmhouse with silos of corn,
scattered, the seeds, they call from below,
landing to feast on this cold sun-filled morn.

Recalls the chill night he spent in the tree,
rejoice the morning, when storm set him free.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


When words escape me like so many dreams
everything changes, different it seems.
Travel upon memory buried in snow,
while drifts blow over wherever I go.

I trip over roots, hidden -- I fall
on my knees but I realize that overall
the whole point of a journey varies;
some may stumble while others tarry,

confused, might wander among the rubble,
pick through detritus that caused this trouble,
reminisce smiling past times when I knew
a trembling voice, from one of a fool.

Isolated, alone in a din,
Ignored or passed over -- turn myself in-
to the fray, if I  write about life,
will they recognize, imagine my strife?

Yes, overcome, I’ve lived onto this age,
earned the right to own all of my rage.
A pass is issued, somewhat of a badge,
a ticket, an entry to lift up this latch.

Open a new door, within my own time –
appreciate brilliance, begin to unwind,
unravel the voices beneath the snow,
whisper survival through words I now know.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

Secret Melon

Lying on the floor in the hallway
I saw grownups in black slacks,
lace collars
a party in my parent’s house

I wanted sweet cantaloupe melon,
mother cut fruit all afternoon
fruit salad
for guests she said and only smiled
at my request
for a bite of melon, ripe and delicious
wait, she said,
the leftovers, you can have breakfast
I frowned

I crept into the dining room, under the table
reached up
quickly grabbed a piece of melon,
juicy cantaloupe
I popped it quickly into my mouth,
so delicious.
I crawled back to my bed, still tasting,
I went back to sleep now, waiting
for breakfast

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


I know just where my father’s ashes are interred,
but I wonder if I really knew him.
My mother’s ashes were buried next to his,
but while his were in a faux-granite urn,
hers had been dumped, unceremoniously
from a cardboard box directly into the ground,
by my father ten years earlier.

I thought of this atrocity, this role-reversal,
how much my mother hated dirt,
would have preferred the clean sealed urn.
It was he, who would have wanted to be dumped
into the ground or over the lake he loved,
but instead he was locked inside an urn.

Sometimes I wish I could have torn open his urn,
thrusting him to the wind, scooping up the memory
of my mother, to capture her essence
but then I realize that she is more free
than my father will ever be.

Julie A. Dickson

Exeter, NH

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Jackie Anderson ----- four Cinquains


Sipping warm mug
Silent awakening
Newborn day shining pure white light
Clean slate


Shocked and shaken
Cruel attack rends my heart
Healing faith revives, I will rise


Moved on
Went your own way
Voice smiling through my phone
Like a visit at home today
My son


Charms, aggravates
My reaching out falls short
In deep abyss of chasm wide
Love hides

Saturday, November 23, 2019

George Held -------- poem

No Light
   “To Hell in a hand basket”
   “This is the end, my friend”

Only clichés and other folks’ words
come to mind in the lowering dark
of a world gone to pot or to black,
as the pot calls the kettle,

but what are clichés for if not to bring
succor to us suckers who long for light,
not necessarily at the end of the tunnel?
But there’s no light in sight, none.


We who are doomed to die salute you
who motor on in the face of bomb
threats, mass shootings, frightening
policies drawn up by crooked governments,

you who warmly welcome a new child,
you who go to church, synagogue, or mosque
to pray, to receive succor, you who feel divine
peace in the presence of God, a god.


But no god’s in sight, none. So what
if I can’t pray or find peace without,
only rarely within, where there’s no
light, just a reptile response to life?

That’s no question for a lyric;
save it for an ode or an epic
or a drama; stow it away
from the gray light of a new day.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Mary Anna Kruch ------------- poem

Angels in the Evening Woods

Far from the city noise,
I walk the woods,
try to block out a president
who has made life hell
for the least among us --
allowing my imagination to wander
Night approaches; I do not fear the dark.

At twilight, the evening woods
create profound silhouettes,
they rise, a line of stiff, solemn soldiers,
heads touching the navy blue of sunset.
I study how the towering red pines
shelter families of deer who live
beneath their fine-scented branches –
how the trees supply sanctuary
for even the least among them.
It is night, but I cannot close my eyes.

Even during the hunt,
deer, owls, and rabbits
will sleep in the shelter of my soldiers,
angels in the evening woods.
It is night, but I cannot close my eyes.

I think how differently guards
at the border view themselves --
follow orders blindly
strike fear in the hearts
of families with no place to hide in the night.

Where are humanity’s protectors?
Who supports and defends families
 who flee violence and death?
Those families are hunted; they fear the dark.
They may be moved out of sight,
but they cannot be erased.
The woods cannot shelter them.

Where are the protective arms
of civilized duty?
Who supplies sanctuary
for even the least among them?

Even as I walk far from the noise
my eyes remain open.
We must learn
from the angels in the evening woods.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Editorial by Koon Woon on Contradictions by Mao

If I can remember well, Chairman Mao said many years ago, there are two kinds of contradictions in the world -- Contradiction between the people and contradiction amongst the people.

Sometimes if a murderer is at your front door, you need to stop arguments inside the house and deal with the murderer at the front door first.

Lew Jones paper on Ishtar film theory

Lew Jones Ishtar film theory

Monday, October 21, 2019

Haiku --- Lenora Good

Like thin chocolate
the Rio Grande pours past me
            I thirst.

tango above the water
            tiny scarlet flames.

Thor's hammer bounces
across the clouds—
            puppy shakes in fear.

Why is it easier
to accept my death
            than yours?

Thursday, October 17, 2019

Three Haiku ----- James Roderick Burns

How dear
the small, lit window!
How distant!


Mossy cobbles
flatten and shine under
the wash of tyres


Stillness –
the night-bird’s cry flits
from wall to wall

Saturday, October 12, 2019

Julie A. Dickson --- three new poems

The Brand for Real Change

The brand I wear is for freedom
with elephants roaming wild
of dolphins and whales breeching,
living in family pods at sea.

I can’t abide a captive life for them,
behind logos of SeaWorld or zoos,
circus tents with hook-handed handlers
dishing out abuse among rings of fire.

The brand I wear is for fairness for all
gender identities and persons of color,
to live without fear, to gain and maintain rights,
to move forward instead of losing ground.

I can’t abide the fork-tongues of leaders,
daily barrage of violence and hatred;
people yelling across widening chasms
disregarding beckoning hands of friendship.

The brand I wear is a barren beach,
clean sand with pink shells and pebbles,
free from decaying fish and sharks,
dead sea turtles that ingested debris.

I can’t abide the sight of trash,
plastic washing up on the shore,
sea water a floating raft of death,
collateral damage of human waste.

The brand I wear is for real change
for enough people to care and listen,
to stop environmental destruction,
abandon cruelty, protect the earth.

I can’t abide the human apathy,
silence condoning their behavior
to appear deaf and blind to the chaos;
isn’t it time to wake up and change?

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


Gray skin sags over a large frame,
skin and bones you might say
I’m not allowed to graze, forage
as nature intends – I wait.
They throw dried grass, sticks.
I amble over to the pile slowly
as my feet are sore and cracked,
pavement hard; it’s been so long
since I felt dirt and grass beneath.
Where are the trees for my itchy hide,
branches to pull on, pungent leaves?
I crave to wander; my eyes close.
I see my herd, ears flapping, rumbles
through the ground, joyous voices,
but when I look again, I am alone -
lonely and penned in, no herd here
just the loud voices of my captors.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

Song of Mother Earth   

A wonderland of nature
sings a song of mother earth
plants and animals grow
celebrating every birth

Listen to the river
flowing out to sea
rustle in the tree tops
birds call out to me

Hear the cattle lowing
and dogs up on a hill
footsteps in the forest
beneath the walk until

whispers from the cloudy sky
cool breeze blows my hair
scan the distant mountain range
across lakes and valleys there

Like ancestors from our past
worship moon and father sky
cherish earth our mother
don’t let her beauty pass you by

Sit upon the granite rock
contemplate the far off plains
sing a song of mother earth
in this land where nature reigns

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

Friday, June 28, 2019

Chrysanthemum Poetry Anthology 2020

Submit poems to Chrysanthemum Poetry Anthology 2020 by directly sending Word file to:

You can send up to five poems (under 60 lines each). 

There are no required themes, just send the best poems you have now, sort of reluctant to see them go like your child going away to attend college. You and they will be the better for it. 

Payment is one copy upon publication and extra copies at a discount. 

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

New book by Ivan Arguelles

New release from Goldfish Press

Ivan Arguelles is the winner of the William Carlos Williams Award and the American Book Award.

with an introduction by Jack Foley

Image may contain: one or more people and text

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Resurrecting Chrysanthemum Anthology

We are resurrecting Chrysanthemum poetry anthology. Please send poems to or inquire at

Chrysanthemum 2020 anthology

Please send 3 - 5 unpublished poems to
Deadline 12/31/2019   Please no multiple submissions
Reading time is less than 30 days. 
Payment will be one copy and additional at discount.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

David Fewster ----- poem


by David Fewster

Saw them get out of their Lexus
to pick up their 10 and 11 year-old daughters
fat, affluent, they were out of
a George Grosz painting,
hands on porcine hips, obviously giving the girls
a lecture on the American Way.
Disgusted, I bent back over my book,
a biography of the Marquis de Sade,
and surreptitiously took a slug
from my bottle of Hakusan saki,
fermented in the lovely Napa Valley,
and wouldn’t you like to try it
I was interrupted by the sound
of elephants stampeding up a
It was the couple,
each with a happy, childlike glint
in their eyes,
running toward the park restrooms.
“Geez, they must have to go
really bad,” I thought,
having been in that situation
15 minutes ago, but the bastards
in the Ballard Parks Dept.
had the damned thing locked,
even if it was Sunday at noon,
so I pissed in the bushes myself.
But no, they weren’t
there to piss—
their daughters soon
came up, and it was
obviously a game of
hide & seek, and the
look of joy had been from
the game and their love of it.
And I was abashed.
Where I had been
trying to find evil,
when the surface was scratched,
I only discovered
old hippies who
had not lost the
capacity for
having fun.

What the fuck’s
Wrong with me?

New Forum for Poems: Chrysanthemum Poems (above)

Submit poems to Chrysanthemum Poems by email to