Monday 13 February 2023

Five Poems by Julie A. Dickson


Caroline doesn’t scream


aloud - her screams are silent

they claw at her throat

tears prick eyes

already puffy and sore


but no more will she

show her pain, will not cry

in front of him


only in private,

her room a refuge,

welcome oasis

to quench extreme thirst


alone, she bursts from her shell

battered, scarred but whole inside

she holds her own

survives like a cocoon

swathed moth that longs to fly



Single Bird


On a wire    birds perch together   lined up against grey sky


one is alone         away from the group      seems banished


from the rest    is it by choice or have the rest          ignored


lone bird    in his tiny quest for togetherness          They say


“birds of a feather flock together“        but            I perceive


isolation                     loneliness           perhaps he is like me


As I walk below power lines     those birds     evenly spaced


placed         side by each        OCD-like          except for one


doesn’t seem to belong                do birds        have time out


for behaviours        unbefitting the flock     if so       will he be


welcomed back          when his time has passed         or is he


forever             single bird like me      destined     to be alone



I am a rock


beneath the surface of a cool stream,

can see the sky, a bit blurry through

flowing water, quenched, dark rippled.


I am akin to dry cousins, sun bleached,

dry and brittle unless kissed by droplets

of rain, falling on river’s edge, though

set apart; we were as one -  long past,


recall a time when I dwelled above on

cliff overhang, cascading tiny water

fall cast iridescent light against dull

granite wall, and then I was broken,


a bad dream, sense of descending down

slope into the stream, no one mourned

my passage, gone to memories, resting

on pebbled bed, my watery grave.



First Apartment


Two rooms furnished

living room, cheap  wood

framed couch and chair,

bedroom with no door,

tiny bathroom,  rusted

metal shower stall that

banged elbows, tiny

kitchenette  - two burner

stove, one cabinet above.


Second floor flat off a long hallway

where landlord’s teen son slept

in the attic above us, his TV blared

louder than ours, big sneakered

feet pounding up stairs past our

stored stuff that wouldn’t fit in the

tiny kitchen, extra cereal, cans

still in bags near boots, coats and

old worn suitcases, boxes of books.


One day I found something odd

rummaging through grocery bags for

canned baked beans and rice; my

hand drew back quickly from weird

squishy liquid inside a plastic bag,

forgotten bread; I stared, not knowing

decomposition took bread past mould

to this ooze. I sat back, suddenly felt the

over-warm hallway swallow me whole.





through feathers spread

fly, against harsh wind

pull wings in tight



words sever arteries

blood tears stain cheeks

never meant to weep



fear raises hackles, ridged

back, frenzied bark, want

to run, not fight



cold seeps into bones

through wool, arms sign

love silent language, keep


Julie A. Dickson is a long-time poet and writer of YA fiction, whose full length works are available on Amazon. Her poems appear in journals including Misfit, Medusa's Kitchen, Tiger Moth and Lothlorien. Dickson holds a BPS in Behavioural Science and shares her home with two rescued feral cats.

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