Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Summer 2014    fiction    all issues


Anne Rankin-Kotchek
Letter to the World
from a Dying Woman
& other poems

Sara Graybeal
Ghetto City
& other poems

Tee Iseminger
& other poems

Lisa Beth Fulgham
After They Sold the Cows...
& other poems

Mary Mills
The Practical Knowledge
of Women
& other poems

Monika Cassel
Waldschatten, Muttersprache
& other poems

Michael Fleming
To a Fighter
& other poems

Daniel Stewart
& other poems

John Glowney
& other poems

Hannah Callahan
The Ptarmigan Suite
& other poems

Lee Kisling
How the Music Came
to My Father
& other poems

Jose A. Alcantara
Finding the God Particle
& other poems

David A. Bart
Veteran’s Park
& other poems

Greg Grummer
War Reportage
& other poems

Rande Mack
& other poems

J. K. Kitchen
Anger Kills Himself
& other poems

Jim Pascual Agustin
The Man Who Wished
He Was Lego
& other poems

Jessica M. Lockhart
Scylla of the Alabama
& other poems

James P. Leveque
Three Films of Jean Painlevé
& other poems

Kelsey Charles
& other poems

Therese L. Broderick
& other poems

Lane Falcon
& other poems

Ricky Ray
The Bird
& other poems

Phoebe Reeves
Every Petal
& other poems

David Livingstone Fore
Eternity is a very long time...
& other poems

Tim Hawkins
Northern Idyll
& other poems

Abigail F. Taylor
On the Pillow Where You Lie
& other poems

Joey DeSantis
Baby Names
& other poems

Cameron Price
Every Morning
& other poems

David Walker
Sestina for Housesitting
& other poems

Helen R. Peterson
& other poems

Writer's Site

Tim Hawkins

Northern Idyll

Flushed and fevered, appalled by the city,

you crept through nightfall over shards of glass

back to the Northern forest, whence you’d come;

An upland preserve of bear wallow and fattening deer

where tannic alder and maple-soaked rivers cool

like a tonic the color of tea or bourbon,

depending on your need.

You had planned to wade their timeless eddies,

to meander in their cloudy back currents,

to imagine lost loves and idylls

and absent friends,

until the night I arrived at your door

with furrowed brow and frown as tight

as my clenched and trembling fist

to solve the latter once and for all,

and to bring word from the late city

with its campaign slogans and broken bottles,

scorched pavement and red-rimmed,

downcast eyes,

word of the woman and child denied

this leafy province of despair.

The Leap

I hold your small hand in mine

while salmon lunge

and hurt themselves

on the rocks beneath us,

chasing death,


and a dim and watery notion

of home.

In the not-too-distant past,

folks from the east side of town

arrived in horse carts and carriages

on this bluff above the river,

hailing one another

in the cool of evening

as they gaped at the bounding rapids

and the bears

who fished below.

With a promise of ice cream in hand,

we make our way to the car

parked on the bluff—

now a park

surrounded by hospitals,


and schools.

One day you will return without me

and you will understand

like the generations of salmon and men,

that though the bears and horse carts

may be gone,

the poorly understood migrations

and countless wet dreams


The Gallery

My wife was born in a tropical climate

where trees flourish through sun and rain

and the four seasons are a myth passed down

and diluted like generations of conquistador blood.

Here, in Michigan, she is fascinated by the falling leaves,

how some nights they swirl and dance across the road

seeming to perform for our oncoming headlights,

and she chides me for failing to notice such beauty.

Thanks to her insistence I now have another experience

to reconsider, another image to call to mind

in the cold and austere days that will come

soon enough, in the long, white gallery of winter.

A Rain

A sudden chilling autumn rain

blows through darkening fields and towns,

drums on moss and weakens stones,

moistens eyes and dampens skin;

shrouds the bleak and withered hedge,

snaps the slender wavering branch,

floods a narrow wooden bridge,

and gathers battened skiffs to launch;

takes no heed of wall or fence

nor burnished plaque to mark the deed,

seeks the least resistant path,

deaf to human remonstrance

and blind to monuments of their dead.

The Archives

After the stabbing light of the sun

has dimmed to a wintery ache in the eye,

one grows accustomed to stark interiors,

intimate with corridors

and their convolutions

of gun-metal gray.

After a certain period of adjustment

amid the superficial scrape and glint

of marble halls and their distorted

echoes of coughing like laughter

in the rarefied air,

after the clatter of metal slamming

and footsteps marching away in lockstep,

then fading along the corridor,

something rare that we are gifted

and burdened to name

is bred in the silence that follows

and filed away.

There is a veneer of winter solitude

that can linger then, briefly,

like snowfall melting on clothing

or that can remain for a longer term

like wintering in some forest hollow,

marking a more remote frontier,

a knife’s claim on ragged bone

bounded by a feverish wind.

Perhaps that is the end of it, after all,

a sudden shiver, an abrupt decision

followed by the tinkling of ice

and a return to the sunny port

of conviviality.

Or perhaps, after numerous seasons,

after window-less years spent

locked in dutiful chambers

by turns airless or drafty,

idly tracing the torn and faded map

of one’s veins,

from some half-remembered story

rescued from the false bottom

of memory

one hears apocryphal footsteps

creeping away

along the chilly corridor

among the snowy drifts—

a second self

cloaked in the terrible

gift or burden

of a second skin.

One imagines archival landscapes,

even the frozen scar of a frown

so like a familiar horizon.

Tim Hawkins has lived and traveled widely, working as a journalist and teacher in international schools, among other positions. He currently lives in his hometown of Grand Rapids, Michigan. His writing has appeared in more than two dozen print and online publications, including the Summer 2013 issue of Sixfold. In 2012, he was nominated for a Pushcart Prize and published his first collection, Wanderings at Deadline (Aldrich Press). Find out more at:

Dotted Line