Poetry Niche – June 2024

Robert (Rob) has been a long term resident of Lakeside. For fifteen years he wrote Focus on Art as a monthly column in the Ojo del Lago. He has a Master’s in Fine Arts degree and a Doctorate in Spirituality. But poetry has been his life time love. He was one of the founding members of the Not Quite Dead Poets Group at Lakeside. He continues to search for the metaphorical center of poetry as a critical form of communication of truths that can not be expressed in other ways.

A marriage

when we married

we never got down

to the distances.

I think of it now

as a rift, with

bridgework unfinished,

    we stood – each

on our very own shore.

though near in sight and sound

there seems no way to touch

the recesses of our hearts

    which remained

just beyond our reach.

Perhaps our hands touch

    but hearts, it seems

must rest breast to breast

to beat in harmony.


Altered dimensions

as her hand grasps mine,

     then holds,         

as her smile emerges,

    a blossom faint and pink

    a nuanced creation,

revealed and understood,

    I touch her lips,

as a ripple of wind rustled 

    and swirled 

across the surface of the

lake with a whisper of sound,

as her infectious smile

    passes through

the closing space

between our mouths,

     and spreads full-blown

on my awakening face.



and we

we forget to be white American in order to hope

no longer will we wage war to fill our gas tanks

ravage nations and peoples to enlarge our homes –

Its sworn —

enough of this hate in our lives.

we will no longer live to enslave others,

to deplete, to destroy

and we

we forget to be white Americans to save the world



I wish for a moment

I could be a woman,


cherished, even excluded,

to feel the pain of childbirth,

to be pushed aside by men,

to breathe the air of a schoolyard

    where my children play,

to see the face of my child’s


to touch the swing and push,

to hear the trill of laughter,

the song of love

    that fills the air.

I wish for a moment

I too 

    might give birth.



 Your lithe form 

enchants as you move 

wistfully about me –

like slender angels

    your fingers cast

    mystic spells

          before me

your eyes close and

reveal silken lashes –

your essence shatters 

barriers that bind

         my hidden soul –

    as your breath engages 

    and heals my wounds.


Flower song

she took my hand and placed it cupped

   above the bell like bloom.

listen now, quiet and patient,

and she will speak.

her movements in a language

all their own

   will tantalize and awaken you.

if you answer, she will stretch up to you

and call your name

in words you have not heard before,

    in ways you never understood.


Mulled awareness

   was it the soft cloth,

or the way her head turned,

perhaps a dream forming

taking and shaped within us,

or more solid rock truth

    firm as her body,

alert and attentive

as mine?

    We – part of the stars, 

joined with the rising moon,

blended with  

the long sweep of the lake,

the soft, even saturated light

    which gave form to what

settled full upon us,

    open to love?

was it 

more inner, mulled

awareness within her mind –

formed, and formed again,

by cultures, languages and

visions of worlds, and ways

distant, beyond horizons seen.

more a thing of substance,

of being, 

and human wholeness?


Silent embrace

not available,

line closed, door locked,

email silent.

he did not know

she was dead inside,

inside behind the wall,

behind the garden,

behind the wooden door.

he saw her running

along the beach,

walking in the soft evening light

along the malecón

drinking coffee

in the early morning

at the donut place.

she was quiet now, sealed

inside her safe space,

so much to be done,

choices to make,

in death’s embrace



A tornado raged within, as

emotional-winds threatened

my fragile mental state.

I became a leaf tossed

in a gale of uncertainty – 

whose turbulence clouded

my vision and awareness.

Each thought, a frayed thread,

unraveled by contradictions,

that fell softly all around me.

Entangled, I became a prisoner  

trapped within the arms of fate,

amidst a tornado of confusion. 

Suddenly, beyond the storm,

lay a glimmer of sunlight,

a flicker of blue sky, just

visible outside the inner core.

 a peace filled place and time

where my will reached out and 

grasp freedom from my frailty.

Then the strong winds calmed,

as the sky opened her arms,

and I surrendered to her beauty, 


The Feast

final meal

with friends,

the twelve of us

in supper conversation,

    drinking beer –

the cans – toxic waste

piling up within a canvas,

    stretched thin, with

holes along the edge,


like a splayed cross.


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: chapala.com

Mel Goldberg
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