Featured Original Poetry


When I am 12

at Camp 4 Winds

Westward Ho

we trek into the hills

on an overnight,

arrange our sleeping bags

around the fire

where my bed

ends up next to yours—

canoe instructor,


After everyone

is asleep we murmur,

accompanied by

pops and sparks

as an ocean

blushes stars

above our heads and

nothing holds

me down, tells me

I can’t fall

headfirst into that


(Selected Poem, Ars Poetica 2017)
























Meeting Annie Leibovitz

At Elliott Bay Bookstore

I stand in line for an hour,

wind through a forest

of pregnant bookcases.

When I finally summit

the iron-railed staircase

and approach the oak table

on the second floor balcony,

I hope to catch a glimpse

of the top of her head

as she signs her new book

of photographs, called Pilgrimage.

When it’s my turn,

she looks up—

hazel eyes behind

amber frames.

She smiles and says,

“Purple headband.”

I open my mouth slightly.

She points at my head

and smiles again—

“I like your headband.”

(Published Ars Poetica 2016)


Before that kiss

you detoured

once a year through

Bainbridge Island

after your writer’s retreat

in Port Townsend

and then I’d meet you

at the Pub,

even though struck

by fear at the sight of

amber liquid in

those tall glasses—

that smell of something

between sweetness and


(Selected Poem, Ars Poetica 2017)

The lesbians’ table 

at Baldwin Coop

makes room for you

even though

you are a man.

What’s he doing here?”

I frown as I whisper,

that first week of

my senior year at Oberlin.

Oh, that’s Gabriel. 

His Mom’s a lesbian.”


Doe-eyed Italian,

arms folded in that

dark-blue cable knit

your Mom made,

within 2 weeks

I stop my protest.

By the end of the semester

we greet one another

with Irish accents

and the French words

for cardinal, cool and tuxedo.


That winter break

we walk after dinner

to the North fields

through new fallen snow.

The air is an an ache

in my lungs.

Your hands in your

Levi’s pockets, thumbs out.

I hand you a mix tape—


Joan Armitrading

that new song by Bonnie Raitt,

I just can’t make you love me.


You ought to know

I still remember your smile

Over the waves

When I shook with fever

And cried with relief

When I wished for

Those rays of light and color

And they appeared

Like a mirage

Over Eagle harbor

Beyond the image of your face

I remember back in LA

You would slip through a room

Like a centaur

Like an angel

Like a condensed ray of light

I was distracted

And did not see

Until 15 years later

And now at night I

Allow myself to smile

As I turn out the light

Because I know

When I close my eyes

You are there

I do not call

I do not tell you these things

But you ought to know

When it is the end

Before I chant my tone

And go back to God

It is you I think of

Before that flash of light

You are my person

At the end of the world.

Housesitting For The Widow


His ashes smell like

charcoal dust in

her living room

where I watch Titanic

on a September

afternoon, curtains



Clocks tick

in the background

of every scene.


I watch prostrate

on pastel blue carpet,

palms cradling head,

2 yards from that

cedar box.


When my wilderness

guide ex-boyfriend arrives,

pulls his green Subaru

up to manicured

parking strip, he kisses

me in that dim parlor.

I protest.  “Stop it,

I want to watch

this part!”


(All Images and Poems Copyright Lucy P. Dickinson 2017.  All applicable rights reserved.)