Sunday, June 6, 2021

Poem by Keith Holyoak


Keith Holyoak


Out of Kilter


All day the world felt just a bit off

balance. And yet, nothing was really wrong—

the late summer sun shone at least as bright

as yesterday (though not for quite so long).

Barbecue weather—kind of day to loaf

outside, tracking a hummingbird in flight.


The sun blazed crimson, dimmed, and then was gone.

Tonight, lying beside my wife, I caught

a knife-edged moon peering at us. I held her

tight to my chest, as though we both might float

away without seeing another dawn.

Hard to sleep when the world’s gone out of kilter….


Been meaning to catch up—figured to give

you a call soon.  Your voice inside my head

retells a story. Smiling, I’m amused to

hear it again—till I recall instead

how this day was the first I’ve been alive

when you are not.  Takes some getting used to.


in memory of Edward E. Smith, 1940-2012


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Monday, May 24, 2021


Kelley Jean White  --- three poems


There was thunder, and a mountain shattered, falling—


There was a single tree still standing in this city,

one tree beside a noisy street. (‘noise’ does not begin

to speak for all that sound.) And now that I have come back

even this last tree has fallen, unnoticed, with a silent swish

of still green leaves. Oddly, it struck no building, just

cobblestones and tar, trolley tracks, the cracked sidewalk

beneath its trunk and branches No lightning struck, no wind

sent it sprawling. It seems its roots simply released,

its little soil outgrown. It was my only tree here, and I

have left northern white mountains, racing rivers, torrents

of snow melt carving glacial caverns out of granite.

I had thought to see it, this one tree bloom into autumn, shade

into snow. Now there is nothing to see. But dirty glass and

crumbling buildings. Scars.

These are my woods

head past pumpkin plants

cross the brook onto the thick mat

of leaves and sticks and over

fallen trees. So many fallen trees.

There is the owl tree on the left,

empty of owls these past two years

below and above vernal pools

filled before dawn by last night’s rains

light slants through woods ahead

silence, broken for a moment

by what might have been a deer

not glimpsed, sensed; turn, look back

see the brilliant white birch trunks

let them draw your eye to peace




Tonglen practice, also known as “taking and sending,” reverses our usual logic of avoiding suffering and seeking pleasure. In tonglen practice, we visualize taking in the pain of others with every in-breath and sending out whatever will benefit them on the out-breath.

How many years have we counted

each other’s breath? Tonight I have

barefoot tiptoed from bed to desk

from your curled back to a stone cold

floor. When I return you may wake

and roam the ticking quiet house.

But how many hours have we shared

with breath matched, dreams matched,

snores, sighs, stretches. Even the cats

stay attuned. Curved into the spaces

between us. The space made behind

our fitted knees, our pillowed necks.

Their purrs, their tiny sneezes. Their

paws. So I breathe in your pain as

my pain. Breathe out my hope for you,

breathe in your hope as mine. The cats?

Their dreams are soft and timeless.

Yours and mine? Carry a little fear.




Tuesday, February 9, 2021

John Grey ---------------- three poems



Her eyes are transfixed

on my intrusion.

Mine are drawn

to the morning air ruffle

through her brown flanks.


She’s appraising me.

What is this creature?

Why does it stare at me?

Does it mean me harm?

She doesn’t suspect

the true reason.


I don’t move,

speak in hushed tones

like a predator would never do.

“It’s okay. It’s okay”

I know the deer is fearful

but I need this moment.

No other presence

can come so close to holy.



the doe darts off into the thicket.

I remain there a while

but she doesn’t return.

That is all I’m going to get

My eyes are back on me for now.






fly away from me

thank you

little bird,

to unnecessary safety

but with freedom

you so desperately





I get up close to the bees

that dart from one small yellow flower

to the next

though I know one

small buzzing critter

cold land on my bare arm at any moment,

deliver a jab of pain.


I envy a life

that small, so concentrated,

with one thing in mind

that’s not even a thought,

just instinct,

to fly in and out,

to feast on the buds,

pollinate, provide for the hive,

to not waste their lives,

watching what men do.

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Goldfish Press poet Valeria Nollan will be reading internationally here:

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

 Julie A. Dickson

Homage to Fear

Cadralor poem



Darkness descends, ebony blanketed sky

skeletal branches loom, arms outstretched

provoked terror mounts to crescendo,

perspiration soaked skin beneath hooded

jacket, eyes wildly searching path.



Rope swing sways, empty now.

Swimmer dropped into unknown depths,

awaits his brother, bubbles -  breath

to break swirling water, clouded

with silt, no sign yet.



Voice of anger permeates silence,

cringe into the nearest retreat,

caustic cacophony, sadistic screeches rise

in volume while madness beckons

from every perceived safe corner.



Dog lurches against his chain,

pass by quietly, ignore barking,

jaws clenched watching foam appear,

strangled growls, front paws grapple

rough ground, walk away quickly.



Empty water bottle, lips cracked

parched swollen throat feels raw,

heavy leaden footsteps through sand,

dry desert floor, sparse saguaros,

phantom shadow feigns cool oasis.


Julie A. Dickson












In the woods

Leave yourself behind

Peaceful pines surround you

Sun set


Julie A. Dickson





Hold on Tight




They told her she was barren,

her damaged womb felt as sad

as her empty heart, no baby

to love -  until work from home;

quietly allowed fetus to implant, calling

to her, I will be born.



My father was replaced, with this

stranger, peering out through blank eyes,

not the volatile man he was,

firmly planted in an orthopedic wheelchair;

dementia stole my father, but I

admit I sometimes prefer this substitute.



A young tabby, alone in the city,

tail broken and flattened, thin, starving,

trapped, sent to a stark crowded garage;

she fears humans, but accepts food,

finally placed in a forever home,

languishes sated in a sunny window.



Dark blue eyes not open much

at first, so sleepy and hungry,

arms stretched out over his head,

emerged from my daughter, already loved,

held close to hearts, swaddled tight;

cannot stop touching his soft head.



A stroke left her weak, feeling

helpless, lonely. No more will she

create her lovely hand knitted sweaters,

we talk of Ireland; she smiles

at memories held, gardening and plants,

hand clasped softly in mine, remembering.



Julie A. Dickson







Cherita Poem


I shouldn’t have tried to look inside


The abandoned house boarded up

but for this single window


Dog and I approached to peek in,

disturbed hornet’s nest, sentries

reminded me of our lapse in decorum


Julie A. Dickson











Rope Swing


Grab ahold tightly, don’t lose your grip.

It’s important to look beneath as the rope

swings left and then right.


Over dark veiled water, you cannot see anything;

could be rocks or soft sand below;

don’t let go too soon unless you feel safe


but if you sway with the rope, back up the hill,

there are surely rocks, boulders even;

you’ve hit your heels before and it hurts.


The gnarled rope shows signs of age, knots frayed

with the years, but its still strong enough to hold

your weight until you decide whether to jump in.



Julie A. Dickson

Heather Sager ______________________ poem

Bring the night I, the poet, did walk around that day living like I was actually alive. And the next day, I the poet lived rather like I wa...