Poetry Niche – January 2023

Do Cats Meditate?

Chris Smith

Again you’re there
Upon my chair
Distant in your mind
With content purr
You do not Stir
Righteous and Divined
Where do you go
I just don’t know
Only can I surmise
Your natural flow
With breathing slow
The distance in your eyes
Is your elevation
A Feline meditation
Of ancients you connect
For the great preservation
Of a whole human nation
Entrusting that you protect



Gabrielle Blair

On cue Honey waits beside the door

eager to trace the same old route

for the hundredth time or more

as though it were the first.

Panting to meet the new day

he strains at his leash,

smells the air,

nostrils quivering in the morning mist.

The street is still asleep.

She is heavy-hearted, cloaked in melancholy:

wars, inflation, fear of a new virus –

always this insidious fear

she never used to feel.

Honey pauses, sniffs his favorite tree,

cocks a leg,

then satisfied that all is well,

leads on.

Be in the now! she scolds herself.

Be more like Honey, the eternal optimist!

Assured the sun is up, the street is his,

he is alive and that’s enough …

and that’s enough, she whispers with a smile …

and that’s enough.


Little Death In The Morning

Susa Silvermarie

Kiskadees calling,

lake waves falling onto shore.

Distant voices,

the bark of a dog.

Suddenly I am vanished

into the sounds all around.

My slide into everything,

my little death,

feels easy as pie, and I find

I never needed

to be separate,

after all.


No Accounting

Lillie Mae Henley

There is no tally

for the past.

It comes and goes.

Flits through our head

in brief images,

leaving us with a feeling

not consonant with today.

There is no balance

with the past.

It has the upper hand.

Impels the now with

lies of yesteryear,

giving us momentary

pause of doubt or elation.

Serenity wins

every entry.

It surrounds us with

peace, light, joy,

presenting the Now

in the fullness

of our time.


Sea King

John Sacelli

What is the sea king seeking?

 With this crew of dream dancers, sailors –  sail

or die  – blown by the winding winds of chance? a

masculine urge of separation and individuation yearning to

cross the vast universal ocean of the feminine.  Across

the seas, la mer, these mariners of fate.  What do they

want?  A new land?  A New Age?  A new

destiny?  Knowledge?  Love?  Justice?

 Truth?  What drives us to leave what we know

 –  to cross from scavengers to hunter-gatherers,

to farmers, merchants, from use of the sticks and stones of

fate to forgers of our own tools, weapons, techniques and

technologies, from the forests to towns and cities, from the

land to the sea, the earth to sky, the physical to the

metaphysical, trance-dancing through the trans-dimensional?

Whatever it is, we feel it now.

  Yet how it is different is still not

quite clear.  We summon ourselves to service beyond

ourselves.  We examine.  We train.  We plan.

 We wait.  Ice is melting, harbors clearing.

 Soon, soon, we will set out.

seeking to be the sea king


Slowing Down

Mel Goldberg

I rode the rapids on the wild Gauley

and shot the class six falls on New River.

I hiked a trail to old Tintern Abbey,

swam cold lakes that would make penguins shiver.

I dived the Blue Hole off Belizan coast

and saw pink dolphins in the Mariñon.

I ate Maori deep pit hangi roast

climbed Wayna Picchu while others looked on.

These were the past, the wildest of my years

but time has slowed me to have different dreams.

I never was one to give in to fears,

but now I seek milder events, it seems.

Yet I will strive until my final breath

and sail into that last adventure, death



Robert D. Lopez

Suddenly from somewhere

She appears in my thoughts

A beautiful person

Whose eyes I have caught

She moves with finesse

Exquisite, such grace

Her smile a Mona Lisa

Such a beautiful face

I see her a flower, a bird on a tree,

Exposing such strength, the roar of the sea

She sits on her rock, analyzing the stars

Tracing constellations from Venus to Mars

She is sensual, perceptive, sexy and bright

Can light up the dark

My God, what a sight.


Trafficking In Life

John Thomas Dodds

Just when I thought I had finally settled down

a spiked basketball, ten thousand times smaller

than a drop of sweat, began chomping on my cells—

termites, nibbling away at my rocking chair.

On a foundation of sand the road ahead,

sans yellow line to keep me in the right lane,

lacked mile markers, with no way to know

if I was on a pathway to heaven or hell.

As clouds forming unfamiliar faces surfaced

ominously out of clear blue sky, it was enough

to take out the umbrella and sunglasses waiting

helplessly for a cloudburst or sunburst, all the while

forgoing a “past due date,” on a grandfather clock

in a hallway of dawn and dusk relegated in time

to a postscript, lingering in a listless lockdown,

and buried in a comfort zone of lost days.

Slowing down, and pulling over on quarter tank,

was enough to idle precaution, and muse plans

of moving on down the road like a fat cat chasing

butterflies, never leaving the rocking chair.

Having learned how to handle, out of sight, whatever

wherever the road leads one; travelling in a free zone

of my own making, at the heart of it, under a garden

of weeds and weathered wood, burrows destiny.

Just when I thought forever was a never ending

poem about being here for one reason, and only one,

turns out it’s a solitary journey about being who I am,

aging quietly, trafficking in life, waiting until the road ends.

For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com

Mel Goldberg
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