Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2013    fiction    all issues


Sharron Singleton
Five Poems

Sarah Giragosian
Five Poems

Jenna Kilic
Five Poems

Kristina McDonald
Five Poems

Toni Hanner
Five Poems

Annie Mascorro
Five Poems

Brittney Corrigan
Three Poems

S. E. Hudgens
Four Poems

Ali Doerscher
Four Poems

David Sloan
Three Poems

Olivia Cole
Five Poems

Lucy M. Logsdon
Four Poems

Marc Pietrzykowski
Four Poems

Donna Levine Gershon
Five Poems

Eva Heisler
The Olden Days

Stephanie Rose Adams
Five Poems

Jill Kelly
Five Encounters

Ben Bever
Five Poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Five Poems

Arlene Zide
Three Poems

Harry Bauld
Five Poems

Lisa Zerkle
Four Poems

Peter Mishler
Five Poems

Tim Hawkins
Five Poems

Marqus Bobesich
Four Poems

Abigail Templeton-Greene
Five Poems

Eric Duenez
Five Poems

Anne Graue
Five Poems

Susan Laughter Meyers
Five Poems

Peter Kahn
Two Poems

D. Ellis Phelps
Five Poems

Linda Sonia Miller
The Kingdom

Nicklaus Wenzel
Skagit River

Holly Cian
Five Poems

Susan Morse
Five Poems

Daniel Lassell
Five Poems

Svetlana Lavochkina
Temperate Zones

Daniel Sinderson
Three Poems

Catherine Garland
Five Poems

Michael Fleming
Five Poems

Anne Graue

The Rusty Buddha

On the barnyard grass,

camouflaged in its setting

of weeds and dirt, its metal tarnished

from weather, rain and sun washing

together, the hands hold

a string of beads and a flask, as the eyes

of the God stare into the distance.

I smell strawberry-rhubarb pie.

There is an apple tree growing rotten

apples hanging heavy in the air,

the branches bend with the weight. There

is a hint of spiceberry.

Buddha sits, stoic and understanding,

knowing more than I know, knowing

how to make strawberry-rhubarb pie,

transforming the rotten apple smell into the one

that used to waft from my Grandma’s oven: the

crisp sugar on the brown crust

covered the sweet heat of strawberries.

Rhubarb adds pungency, and

brings me back to the scientific

Buddha, sitting

in the grass in front of the old

spicy brown barn, the dark molasses

of the outside walls holding the roof, but only

for one more season. Even Buddha won’t be

able to stop it.

Night falls and here

I sit ogling the Buddha as if

it will give me some kind of sign,

something to go on

that will take me

out of myself.

There’s a Van Morrison song playing in my head,

crooning, telling me

where the Buddha is, I know it,

where the spicy smell of apples sits

next to the strawberry-rhubarb pie.

The sweet & sour smells mingle

with the music, and the oxidized Buddha

waits for my prayer, but

I have none, nothing to pray for, only

that I could possibly be sent

back in time where I decided

not to go, but came here instead,

with the Buddha, the barnyard, the

apple tree rotting, the music & the sorrow

sinking down into my feet.


The roots that I am digging

Are tough, pulling me in.

The earth smells so fertile;

It does not give them up so easily.

Tough, pulling me in,

The roots are like memories,

Not given up so easily;

They’re unwilling to yield the answers.

The roots are like memories—

I have to pull on them hard.

They’re unwilling to yield the answers,

Or anything that can help in this life.

I have to pull on them hard,

Through dirty gloves wearing thin.

Is there anything that can help in this life?

I’m still hoping that there is.

Through dirty gloves, wearing thin,

I feel sinews of memory tug.

I’m still hoping that there is

A piece of my heart at the end.

I feel sinews of memory tug

At all of the emotions inside me.

There’s a piece of my heart at the end;

The roots are so deep in the earth.

With all of the emotions inside me,

The earth smells so fertile.

The roots are so deep in the earth,

The roots that I am digging.

The End of My Life

The bees nearly took me with them.

They came from nowhere like water

trickling from a rusted faucet, too cold,

or from a pump, like the one attached

to the wooden floor in the back room

of my grandmother’s house.

I would imagine

how far down the well was dug

beneath the graying floorboards;

I would step away

into the kitchen, safe.

Clouds and men were

gathering, circling, and

keeping me from my children.

They could not see

what I saw, the white wind

swirling near the stairs,

the wind I saw just as surely as I saw

the rain barrel behind my grand-

mother’s house where I drank cold

black water from a rusted cup, dipped under

the disturbed surface, tasted metallic, and

wondered if everything would be okay.


sunlight kissing the top

of the lilac

the dogwood

now sleeping in autumn

standing still

for the onslaught of winter

the waking to work

to good mornings and

breakfast and rushing

out of the house

the holding on to

images that last but

cannot last in this our

ephemeral way of life

the clinging to aphorisms

of the dead that


comfort us in our

living through each

day as it comes

crashing or seeping

or running us down

somehow we are comforted

knowing that we die

and are dying

every day in the tides

that ebb and crash,

standing until we cannot.


The bones are separating from the skin

of an animal freshly found, after death,

with weather and cruelties surrounding and closing in.

Layers shred away with pain and a memory in

the recesses of the cavity left without a breath.

The bones are separating from the skin.

The moments of decay remember the nature of the sin

of moving closer and closer, approaching death;

with weather and cruelties surrounding and closing in.

I lean close again to see if I can win

a chance to alter the process of the vulture’s breath;

but the bones are separating from the skin

of what I cannot define or, knowing, look within

to see if what is left is truly dead,

with weather and cruelties surrounding and closing in.

My mind is blank and racing above the skin

that melts and pushes its way to death.

The bones are separating from the skin,

with weather and cruelties surrounding and closing in.

Anne Graue lives, writes, and teaches online for two universities from her home in New York’s Hudson Valley. She holds a BA in Creative Writing from Kansas State University and an MA in Teaching English from Columbia Teachers College. Her poems have appeared in Paradigm, Compass Rose, and The 5-2: Crime Poetry Weekly, and she was a finalist in the Patrica Dobler Poetry Award for 2013. She is a reviewer for

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