Winter Solstice 2021

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Winter Solstice 2021 By M.A. Dooley This blessed day when the light returns, I stand on the mountain of my home  Grounded at 7:59 AM and look up.  The round moon wanes floating over  Saucer clouds docked in the west.  A soft haze hangs between me and my Shire, Layered hillocks of veiled emerald,  Taste wet and lush as if the drought is over.  The sun rises behind a filter of grey Cotton balls connected at fluffy centers like  Fat caterpillars in the sky.  When the time rings for a celestial split,  A tear in the cotton, A thin sliver of blue blinks open  And the sun sears my eyes  Carving the womb of awakening. I am the field of green softened by one ray, I am the strong back of the moon,  Light as the…


Dinner Lines

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Dinner Lines By M.A. Dooley Empty lines without a script, Two old lovers sit stiff like bricks   Empty lines planked blue wood top, Inviting ages of warmth and weight.   Warmth and weight, young bricks cool, Purpose wanted held at bay.   Warmth and weight, mason’s hands Stack staggered bonds, build a wall.   Build a wall, the server piles Flowers, wine, the table splits.   Build a wall to be broken down With drink, pleasure, taste and texture.   Taste and texture laughter blooms, Edges soften like molten stone.   Taste and texture spills red wine Dripping, seeping fills empty lines.   Empty lines, hushed hands held, Old lovers’ warmth and weight meld.  M.A. Dooley is an architect and writer from the Santa Cruz Mountains, Sonoma County, and the Sierra Nevadas. Dooley has been…

Book Reviews

Bright Dead Things

Dave Seter’s review of “Bright Dead Things” by Ada Limón: In life’s trajectory from childhood story hour to adult happy hour, good storytellers are in demand. While some theories of poetry argue for silencing the “I” of authorship, Ada Limón’s brand of poetry is personal and emotionally honest. If a mere book of poetry can invite the reader into the kitchen for coffee and a story, Limón’s new collection Bright Dead Things does just that. Bright Dead Things explores the duality of joy and suffering. The phrase “bright dead things” comes from the collection’s poem “I Remember the Carrots.” Limón writes: “When I was a kid, I was excited about carrots, / their spidery neon tops in the garden’s plot.” The child, wanting to possess this beauty, rips out the immature crop and is scolded by her father. The poem expresses regret but also resistance to a life of passivity. Right out of…


Circles of Life . . . Circles of Death

Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Circles of Life . . . Circles of Death by Peter Perez Just as the sun circles the globe each day, and the moon circles the globe each month, so do we follow the paths and orbits of our lives, crossing and intersecting the family, friends and events that crossroad our voyage. It is the choices that we make at those crossroads that put us on our journey and lead us to the next adventure. To be willing to accept your instincts is what keeps life fresh and exciting. And as one explores life, so must we be prepared for the next adventure . . . death. Our ancestors believed that death was the purpose of life and the beginning of the next evolution of spirit . . . in another dimension. Embracing Death gives more…

Book Reviews

Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences

“The title of my poetry collection comes from the last line in my poem ‘Open Range’ which explores my drive from Boise to the Duck Valley Reservation to work on a mine reclamation project. I experienced that part of the Western United States with all the complications of disappearing culture, including among the last stretches of unfenced or ‘open’ range, and the ascendant culture of hard rock mining and appetite for copper.” —Dave Seter, Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences Reviews of “Don’t Sing to Me of Electric Fences“ “The title of Seter’s captivating collection may remind you of Whitman’s ‘I Sing the Body Electric’ from Leaves of Grass, but where Whitman celebrates the human physical body, Seter’s poems, in party, decry the effect humans have had on nature and revel in nature itself. Electricity runs throughout the pages, from ‘Open Range,’ where the speaker meets a free-range steer…



Memorable writing that sparks imagination. Lean in. Hear the writer’s voice on the page. Claudia by Nona Smith We held our wine glasses up and tapped their rims together. Clink.           “Do you know why that’s done?” Claudia asked.           “I have no idea,” I said.           “The French began the custom centuries ago. It’s to make us appreciative of all five of our senses.” Claudia had a treasure trove of that kind of information.  “Ahhh, les Francais; ils savent tout,” she added.           She spoke three languages fluently and had enough vocabulary in others to find bathrooms in foreign countries and order wine in restaurants. Born in Germany and well-travelled, Claudia had European sensibilities and a sophisticated sense of style. Her hair was cut by a Sassoon-trained stylist, she wore only Italian-made shoes, and the walls of her dining room were painted Chinese red, seasons before that trend appeared…

Places to submit

Blue Lake Review

Sonoma County poet Dave Seter has a poem “Relative Strangers” in the Blue Lake Review (online journal), November 2020 issue. Blue Lake Review Our goal is to bring compelling, meaningful, insightful fiction and poetry to you every month. Something you can ponder and gnaw on. Something to bring light, or at least, growth and understanding to our readers on a regular basis. No frivolous pieces here. Your time is too valuable. We’re serious about our words, and are selective in what we present to you, sifting through the mountains of words to pull out the diamonds.  Submission Guidelines You, too, can see your writing in Blue Lake Review. Write. Revise. Polish. Submit!