Sunday, October 22, 2023

Story of My Life

—Poetry by Julia A. Dickson, Exeter, NH
—Public Domain Photos Courtesy of
Julie A. Dickson


Deprived of sight, I listen
to the rustle of leaves.
Is it the oak or beech? I strain,
concentrate on the sound a bird
makes high on branches, tipping
head as if to home in, like a dog.

Listen to the sounds of home.
Whir of refrigerator, white noise
background, almost like tinnitus,
not enough to lull this brain to sleep
even though from this dark, can’t tell
whether it’s day or night. Doesn’t matter

I miss the printed word, though audio
books are quite good; there is Alexa
to tell me the time, weather and to play
music. From my chair I continue to learn
about the world, inner world traveler,
picturing past scenes, imagining others.

Miss most? Smiling faces, children at play,
those shining bright eyes, so curious.
I can still see, the visions stand boldly
imprinted on my retinas, like the sun
when I used to shut my eyes at the beach,
gulls squawking overheard, I was blind then too.

I thought I was

something ugly
to be avoided
left alone by one
who should have loved me
until he left.

I felt

reborn, set free
spread wings
previously pinned back
until my arms
extended wide
into a vast unknown.

I didn’t know

there was treachery
jagged rocks
that would tear
at newly discovered
wings, wounding, ripping
grounding me again and again
on a path I knew well.


Close your eyes
for the last time.

Don’t look at me
since you never really saw
me for who I was,
one who cared,
was shoved from your path
with harsh words,
hardly a glance,
ignored or belittled,
not sure which was worse.

Now, all I feel is empty.

If that was your intention
all along, it worked.


That closed-up feeling when I hunch
my body inward, protective mode
learned from childhood now
aggravates my lower back.

Poor posture ingrained
over time, don’t notice me, nothing to see
here, move along.

I feel vulnerable
as though I am flying apart, exposed
to unknown dangers, random stares
piercing my skin like so many blades.

Breath held
Autumn envelops me,  
russet tones
wrapped in vermilion.

I relax into cool nights,
return to a feeling of comfort,
easy chair of solitude surrounds me,
swaddled, hidden from judgment.


Sans umbrella
no use in this downpour with wind
forgotten slicker
clothing sodden, stuck to shoulders
rain pelting
face running wet with faux tears

How different
standing naked in daily hot shower
eyes squeezed shut
long hair sodden, stuck to shoulders
water running
luxuriant down face and body

sky opens up
icy cold stinging

shower caresses
lover’s touch


That song
plays in my head each time
I start my car without fastening
my seatbelt first.

I hear two tones
and the song starts,
the story of my life
replaying throughout each trip.

I had to look it up.
That song, The One That You Love
and yes, I would have

wanted another day
like those words crooned out,
but instead I get just the song
every day in my car.


Today’s LittleNip:

Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.

―Lili St. Crow


—Medusa, with thanks to Julie Dickson for her fine poems today, and for finding us photos to accompany them. And happy (yesterday) birthday, Julie!
Julie with her crocheting

A reminder that there will be a
Capturing Wakamatsu workshop
in Placerville this morning;
then at 7pm, Fire: Breathing in the Wild
features a performance of poetry and
music by "a band of Black women"
in West Sacramento.
For upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
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 LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope

(A cookie from the Kitchen for today):

soft sacks of sweetness:
figs from the gods—
now gone for