Poetry Niche – September 2023

John Thomas Dodds

Writing poetry for over half a century delving into themes such as relationships, spirituality, creativity, and his passion for life, John has self-published a collection of 15 volumes including two enchanting children’s books composed in verse, namely A Sneaky Twitch of an Itch and The Journey Home, as well as a compilation of essays and poetry centered on the subject of aging, titled Comes A Time. While permanently living in Ajijic with his artist wife, Candis, John has penned 5 novels: a trilogy titled To Each Their Own Goodbye, consisting of Book 1: Anywhere Except Yesterday, Book 2: A Long Way From Nowhere, and Book 3: When Tomorrow Is Never Enough, a standalone novel, If You Are Born To Be A Tamale, and in the process of publishing Wanting To Breathe Here In.

All In A Day’s Work

Car Jockeys

with the patience of a toothless smile,

idling on every chica shimmering by

Curb Lawyers

hustling empty parking spaces


waving red rags at oncoming vehicles

sweeping the sidewalks for loose change:

In the stands, familia waiting

for an ear or two

            if it comes it comes.

In another world,

bereft of the dignity of purpose

driftwood waiting on the tide


Esto Lo Sabes

This you know

is where the water springs forth

where we bathe

in the luxury of life

and slip beneath the surface

barely a ripple

for having been here

some of us

hang in here

like energizer bunnies

daring the universe to let go


miss the morning

wakeup call

and leave a hole

in the evening sky

where once a star shone brightly

others just tired of it all

we send on ceramic vessels

to where good memories

come to rest

in the underwater shrines

of Lake Chapala

This you know

is where we all come

to say goodbye


Gone Fishing

 every once and awhile

            one needs

to wrap themselves

in forgiveness

            and forgetfulness

blur the lines,

blatantly indulge in life

without a hangover

            of regret

                        or need

to justify the moment

it’s the only way

            to release the hook

lean into it

            no resistance

no pulling away


Learning To Lean Back On Living

 lay back, listen

            water dripping off leaves

each drop holding the memory

            of last night’s storm

sit back, relax,

            welcome day

into your awareness

as you would your lovers arms

learning to lean back on living

            goes a long way

in letting each day

come to you as it is meant to be


In The Driver’s Equipal

Stuck in traffic, in the rear view mirror, straw hat

perched on my nose, savoring a morning mug

of the brew that lay enchantingly before me.

Trumpeting the morning sunrise, a warm palm

of sunlight caresses a shimmering Lake Chapala

with the serenade of a fisherman’s paddle,

the fingertips of daylight seductively slip off

the nightgown worn by the Sierra Madres

skirting the edges of my embraced paradise.

A cuckold’s seductive invitation to rise

and live another day in another nest,

never entering my mind, for contentment

is the knowing my morning’s commute

is now communion with a never dreamed

of world that now circulates in my veins

and rush hour is the pumping of my heart

in rhythm of another day passing,

            sitting in the driver’s equipal



students seated in preparation

for an after school fiesta

turtles born far from shore

wade through many obstacles

noise increases exponentially

when young minds begin to lose interest

a generation born with headphones

learning how not to listen

decisions in the heat of passion,

a guessing game in search of answers

rain turns streets into rivers

polishing cobblestones

fertile minds well cultivated,

the maestro practicing patience

in time flowers bend to the sun

music helps them blossom

what did the maestro learn

pouring water into an endless well

            quantity in a vast desert of minds

            quality in a glass of water



 I adore you Pablo,

poet of the seashells crawling from the sea.

poet of the bleak landscape,

jeweled realm of Beetlebacks,

and small touchable everyday us.

poet of the foam of sea

chaffing on a stark shore,

the grain of us, the red & blue of us.

I eat your words and they consume me.

after your death.

after your broken sea polished glass

was swept into the dustbin of memory

myth, story, poem,

wearing mourning black

children of words

waiting for the sky to unfold

waiting for the precious stones

buried in your forever mind


Re-tire Re-tread Re-make

 time comes

when you need to stop expanding

in the universal scheme of things

whoadown, slow down,

leave behind the rebound,

spend time staying healthy doing the daily

comealong, and not much more.

Re-mind re-start re-take,

go with the flow of a transcending theme

quantity dis-abled, quality en-abled,

joy embedded in the doing and so much more.

It’s all about making room

for the new shoots,

nature nudging you to go out and play,

reinventing yourself versus

becoming  a product

of a disposable world.

If you don’t use it,

you know,

it wears down

from lack of friction with life,

and rusts.

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

Mel Goldberg
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