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.

New Forum for Poems: Chrysanthemum Poems (above)

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