back to Five Willows Literary Review main site

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Poem ----- Julie Dickson

Listen to the Dragon

Quiet, I said to the dragon after a while;
He kept speaking well beyond the moment
I had stopped listening.
He went on, as if he had more to say…
Was it important for me to hear his words?
I sighed and began to listen intently
to the wisdom he imparted patiently,
he, who was the designated scribe,
he, the chosen to chronicled the lore
of dragons, before and after the millennia,
when humans did not walk among them,
at the time when the realm was young.
If humans had not ventured across the great blue,
landing in wooden ships, building their castles,
how different our history might have been.
Previous to this, we lived by the dragon code
hunting, feeding ourselves and eventually
humans arrived and we watched our realm change.
I nodded as if he had spoken aloud, but
Suddenly looked down at his still form –
Tattooed upon my skin, his frozen gaze,
outstretched claws and wings, a warning?
Ah, so you do listen to my words after all –
perhaps there is hope.

Julie A. Dickson [Based on Ragethe: Chronicles of Dragon Lore - Trafford Publishing, 2006

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Poem ---- Joanna Sit

Soldier, Night
                                                                                    In memory of Danny Chen                   
           
By mountain night moon he reads
            his future, the distant fire
seems close but he knows it can never be
reached in time, that he can
not be saved, that he will dissolve
                        but his bones, blood will run

towards it anyway, even as all promises multiply
even if they will say he couldn’t endure
    the gravel he had to crawl through
                           those sharp rocks those small missiles daily
curse cutting across troposphere tracking
           his foreign body his immigrant scent

there will be no witness
                           except his people’s memory
skin torn to mend someone else’s universe
to be a man apart
to keep another child safe in night
                        lights, shapes of seashells

or octopi, each bulb an eye in the tip of tapered tentacle,
cut like candles that never flicker
            never waver until its circuits break
  until its flow interrupted
               like the life he used to have
in a city he used to know

    when he was the child who opened
            his eyes midnight facing
                         East he’s here now
under mountain night stars brimming
he’s alone in the tower facing up
to the wheel of fire, the magic spokes
            tangled to varicose madness

and he won’t wait
                        for the rose to open
                        for the gun to weep

and he won’t wonder
about the boy who lies
            about the wolf and now lies bleeding

     in this motherless season

he won’t tell anyone
            when the sky falls down

he won’t worry
about the wheel of fortune
or the sound of the one clapping hand

by the mountain night stars, the October silence
            opens like a door
that he drifts through
                        after fire water light

              
                                       
       




















Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Julie A. Dickson ------ four poems



Drop the moonstone
                                                                                                               
Set diffidence by wizened mage
Darkened triumph on the stage
Cries call out in jealous rage
Chatter heard from spectors’ cage
  
Voices shout, though without song
Whispered sendentaries long
Tuneless chants emerged from throng;
From shadows hear the ceaseless gong
 
Drop the moonstone from the depth; hear the answers uttered yet?
 
Clear the smoke from violet haze
Now they see him, enter sage
Grizzled features lined with age
In the distance, tributes gaze
  
Castle looms, the mighty wrath
Gathered darkness, intrepid’s path
Magic spoken, conjured past
Fortune’s wizard turning back
 
Drop the moonstone from the depth; hear the answers uttered yet?
 
The hands of time, we search at last
Sage sees all with eyes aghast
Caverns empty, shadows cast
Stones uncovered, breaking fast
  
Wordless wonder, absent voice
Tearful sobs, the faces are moist
Forlorn, the caged can now rejoice
Whitewashed robes abide the choice
 
Drop the moonstone from the depth; hear the answers uttered yet?
 
Captive whispers were concealed
Clever stories are now revealed
Vast torn wounds won’t all be healed
While truth’s own saber is never wield
  
Deceptive mage will now resent
Can this sinner now repent?
Ragged, tattered figures sent
The final question, truth’s descent
 
Drop the moonstone from the depth; hear the answers uttered yet?
Julie A. Dickson, Exeter NH

---------------------------------


For Theo    [ brother of Vincent Van Gogh]
 
The sorrow runs deep, he stands alone
Aching in loss for the one he held dear
Standing up for the sanity of his brother,
Never knowing whether Vincent was sane

He defends his brother's life and work,
As if it could not stand alone
No one might appreciate the brilliance
If Theo were not to speak of it openly

Perhaps if they understood -
His reputation would not be tarnished,
Vincent's name would be protected
And sheltered with the love he craved

Perhaps they would regret their harsh words,
Spoken in cruelty and out of fear;
From what unkind words come from the lips
Of those who are not afraid?

Speak them, and deny their own madness,
Be it that he was insane, and not they
For those who would take pity on the mad,
Could be themselves considered mad

Still, poor Theo suffers on in silence,
His death just an echo of Vincent's unhappiness
An echo of pain, confusion and a wish to find
The peace and solitude the Vincent craved

Only in death is the work appreciated
And yet, what of the noble brother, whose words
Brought art's very existence to light?
Will he be forgotten?

Cruel ones, look inward to yourselves;
Honor the work, the pain and anguish
Art is conceived in passion, love and agony;
It is a process not without sacrifice

There are those who bear the gift
Of words, song, dance or the stage;
Bear in mind the visual splendor of the canvas,
Recorded in color, the soul of the artist

There is no greater gift an artist can give
Than to share his innermost thoughts and dreams
Captured by pen and ink, brought to life,
And hope that someone might understand

What is art, but a cry to be heard?
A hand reaching out, in color and design,
A statement of feeling, where words are few,
Will they know the meaning?                                   


Julie A. Dickson, Exeter, NH        

-----------------------------

Box in the Closet          
 
In distant past her role was cast
 
a young girl
writer emerged
the journals filled
thoughts were purged
 
Loneliness felt, the words she spelt
 
pencil nub
clasped in hand
desperate
to understand
 
Existence consisting of silence
 
brown fearful eyes
betrayed her pain
isolated
in her room again
 
Much time spent alone as she went
 
on journeys
in her mind
the only solace
she could find
 
Must withhold after warnings told
 
held the pages
writings hidden
from prying eyes
thoughts unbidden
 
Box in the closet, what had caused it
 
lashed out violent
abuse she heard
could not disclose
the written word
 
Julie A. Dickson
Exeter NH
----------------------------

Tribute
 
Caress the consciousness, the words
Hear rhymes of iridescent pearl
See vast alliteration swirl
Envisioned as with sweet song birds
 
Meter and cadence, she dictates
As they bubble, rise up to crest
Often she leaves behind the rest
Eloquent verses she debates
 
To fellow poets, teaches form
With iambic pentameter
Many mimic her demeanor
In awe, another poet born
 
Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

poem ----- Donald Gasperson


the memory of rain


what memory makes whole
as if rounded by the thumb
is that comfort at the marrow

a tenderness found  
in the strange bitterness of leaves
littering the graceless spaces

if it were mine alone
the patient rain could fall
and fill all the little silences

now knowing well enough
that each unnecessary season
is full of its own reason

and the inevitability of the past
that nurtures this creative act
begets one immaculate fact

knowing from foreshortened time
that the cleansing power of sentiment
is the power of the mind


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Julie A. Dickson ---- four poems



Untumbled Gem

Sometimes I am rough like an untumbled gem,
true essence hidden below the uncut surface.
An outward fa├žade covers my deep red garnet heart,
spiritual warmth gently held in balance.
When polished with sunlight, I might glow
in facets of brilliance like a rose quartz;
but don’t be deceived by my reflection –
for healing takes time under soft reiki-touch.
While gazing into seemingly endless depths,
the crystal light of my topaz-brown eyes
holds something else, as yet undefined
that mirrors a struggle you may have shared.

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

--------------------------------------

Touch Nothing

Is it better to touch cold stone than to touch nothing?
You might recognize my language, my protective mode,
Like the familiar backing away
of a fleeting shadowed figure,
the last remnant of a dream fragment upon waking.
My dreams are like characters in a novel, they walk
across my heart, leaving their footprints.
Is it better to let go of emptiness, to feel even pain?
Shall I fill my empty heart, or my open palm with cool water,
perhaps sample life’s nectar, or is it better to touch nothing,
and to let nothing touch me?

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

----------------------------------------------
Emergence

A tightly coiled spring
compression in form,
helical twister
preluding a storm
A vernal deluge
bud springs from its womb
Equinoxical
emergence in bloom
Curled efferevesced bud
bends toward the warm sun,
torsion unfolding;
signs - Spring has begun

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH

-------------------------------
New York City Sunrise

Beckoning the red dawn sky
O’er the roof tops eagles fly
Light the morning, comes the day
Affecting how I choose my way
Carriaged laughter, glasses tink
Passersby cause me to think
Hearing chatter, murmured voice
I’d leave the chaos, given choice
Would sunrise rural sky enhance
Beyond the city walls, by chance?
The buildings tall, block virtue’s dream
Quiet hillside thoughts redeem
In trepidation I may walk
Towards something new as people talk
Through the rooftops out to plains
Venture forth where sunrise reigns
Will this new dawn become that day?
Down cobbled streets I’ll find my way    

Julie A. Dickson
Exeter, NH
-------------------------------------------------

Friday, November 15, 2013