Saturday, December 16, 2023

Shadows on the Wall

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


Because she never fit in
she made herself different,
all-black clothing before
a time was it was in style,

dark eye shadow hid her eyes
much like a moonless night.
She got what she asked for,
they all ignored her.

One day, her demeanor changed.
In bright colors, hot pink hair,
funky jewelry, unmatched socks—
they still ignored her.

In journals she wrote her story,
in verse, poems—utter loneliness,
desperate solitude. People read them,
no one ignored her.


What if ever is a love
not wrought with control
aspiring to alter or change
another, in order to be
that perfect match?

Is it ever the case
that two people just click
and accept each other as is?
Is there someone for everyone
as they say?

I haven’t seen it
or at least not often, even those
bragging of 50-year marriages—
they bicker, still vying for
the control they sought long ago.


The murder of shapes to come,
my grandson’s future in the balance;

armed guards approach dog-walkers
strolling by school yards,

protect those rights—felons and lunatics
flouting rules, angry weapons spew,

government threatens my already meager
monthly funds, making me more tired

than when I was working, choosing between
gasoline and groceries—no joke,

and meals on wheels, though cheap, suck.
I don’t want to hear scriptures;

what happened to that famous separation,
escape from England, freedom and opportunity?

Now I see. It was always about the rich, about
For them, never for the people, never about us;

it’s just gone around in a circle. Now we’re the
chased off, slaves to the wealthy, we should
have known.


I don a favorite frayed blue vest, again
holes in the left shoulder from beloved cat
who died three years before, I cannot part with it,
even though she blooms in my garden
instead of purring while I read.

An aroma stops me, shopping cart blocking
those in the aisle behind me, traffic jam
in the grocery—I ignore the comments
head toward the rich fragrant molasses cookies
that remind me of my mother.

The well-worn paperback sits its post,
silent but beckoning another read, how many
times, twenty, thirty? A book whose characters
hold my very life in its pages; I never want
to forget the journeys we’ve taken.

Remnants of time, shadows play across a wall
as sunrise and sun sets each day, the mirror
betrays youthful thinking, reality lines replace
smooth skin as sitting still takes over activity,
it’s difficult letting go of some things.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Julie A. Dickson

They like to say
we live
we die
our children
What purpose
if earth is damaged
beyond repair
I may be gone
by then
What a legacy
to leave them


—Medusa, welcoming Julie Dickson back with her fine poetry, as we work our way through this darkest time of the year. 
 —Public Domain Photo Courtesy

of Joe Nolan, Stockton, CA

A reminder that
Sac. Poetry Alliance will present
Matthew Cooperman and Amy Kaupang
this afternoon in Sacramento; and
tonight, Out the Way on J features
Natchi Mez, also in Sacramento.
For info about these and other
upcoming poetry happenings in
Northern California and otherwheres,
click on
in the links at the top of this page—
and keep an eye on this link and on
the daily Kitchen for happenings
that might pop up
—or get changed!—
 during the week.

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.

Find previous four-or-so posts by scrolling down
under today; or there's an "Older Posts" button
at the bottom of this column; or find previous poets
by typing the name of the poet or poem
 into the little beige box at the top
left-hand side of today’s post; or go to
Medusa’s Rapsheet at the bottom of
the blue column at the right
 to find the date you want.

Would you like to be a SnakePal?
All you have to do is send poetry and/or
photos and artwork to We post
work from all over the world—including
that which was previously published—
and collaborations are welcome.
Just remember:
the snakes of Medusa are always hungry—
for poetry, of course!

LittleSnake’s Glimmer of Hope
(A cookie from the Kitchen for today)

deer en pointe:
graceful sprites
visiting from
the woods~