Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2018    fiction    all issues


Cover Elena Koycheva

Bryce Emley
Asking Father What’s at the End
& other poems

AJ Powell
& other poems

Faith Shearin
& other poems

Claire Van Winkle
& other poems

Sarah W. Bartlett
Summer Cycles
& other poems

Nooshin Ghanbari
& other poems

Meli Broderick Eaton
The Afterlives of Leaves
& other poems

Jeddie Sophronius
& other poems

Paula Bonnell
In Winter, By Rail
& other poems

Addison Van Auken Waters
& other poems

Daniel Sinderson
& other poems

Andrew Allport
All Nature Will Fable
& other poems

Marte Stuart
What an Insult Time Is
& other poems

Matthew Parsons
My Father as an Inuit Hunter
& other poems

Emily Bauer
Gently, Gently
& other poems

Bruce Marsland
A once lovelorn bard’s final journey
& other poems

Beatrix Bondor
Night Makers
& other poems

Isabella Skovira
Lawless Conservation
& other poems

Juan Pablo González
Colombia, 1928
& other poems

Molly Pines
The Pillbug
& other poems

Jamie Marie
On the Lake
& other poems

William A. Greenfield
If You Show Me Yours
& other poems

Bill Newby
Tuesdays at The Seagate's Atlantic Grille
& other poems

Elder Gideon
Male Initiation Rites
& other poems

Joel Holland
Dear Gi-Gi
& other poems

Martha R. Jones
How Lewis Carroll Met Edgar Allan Poe
& other poems

Marte Stuart

Little House on the Prairie

Death’s entry awaits silence.

Gerda’s chest sucks at air

uneven and ragged,

breath’s undertone

hooks her here.

Listening is the last to go.

Friends croon old tunes for old times’ sake

               ’f you only knew, dear,

               my entire yesteryear

reverberate into every cell,

a relief when finally still.

Free too, clock’s incessant itch.

Lay hush, the struggle to receive.

Turn the dial low, beyond off,

through the os, to be reborn

an amplifying instrument,

an expansive bass-note set


The storybook read aloud echoes deep:

the girl blazes across an open field

of rustling prairie grass,

ears deafened with wind

blown from a limitless horizon.

Ploughs furrow creases in time.

Toil clamors just beyond the rise,

the din of measured work—

Pa’s calloused hands

pounding heartbeats.

Death’s resolute rap-tap-raps

send shingles to the wind.

Pack-up the covered wagon,

hitch-up the horses,

leave the old house behind.

Turn, wave goodbye

and keep looking back,

until you can’t see the barn      off

Peach Death

Puckered and soft

clings yet to the branch,

its rose blush plump

in the sigh

of late summer’s heat.

The warm delight

of an afternoon’s play

upon its surface,

dangling just

for sweetness, say.

Luxuriating too

in loosening skin,

in gravity’s tease

at its grip. The moment

a blessed breeze

unhinges the—


an easy release

and free fall,

trusting the rest

to its seed.

Variations on the Word Breathe

The bookmarked page left

beside your bed, like a secret

guide to your mind’s last lure,

held Atwood’s dreamy whispers

and likely drew you fully under

to the pit of your suffocation fear,

with no one there to whisper

the word of protection: breathe.

Beside me, your body lay lifeless.

Yet, you-in-the-room entered me

timeless, and I breathed for you

to allay all those strained years.

Gentle breaths, in and out,

bearing no clear distinction

of beginning or end;

taken only for the peace in it.

Mine, a gift of effortless breath,

while all-that-was-you filled me.

Yours, the small white flower

suspended in poem, to save me.

(A tribute to Margaret Atwood’s Variations on the Word Sleep)

What an Insult Time Is

What an insult time is

since you died.

Cruel even,

ticking away

on and on

following life.

No pause

for death’s

arresting nature.

Just more now,

the gap between


like shadows

at sun’s fall.

Marte Stuart gravitates toward poems with scientific and theological underbellies. Her current fav is “A Backwards Journey” by P. K. Page. Once while shipwrecked, Marte laboriously scratched words onto coconut husks and set them adrift, which initiated her writing craft and lessons in impermanence. Marte Stuart’s ongoing work is to continually notice her own perceived reality.

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