Dotted Line Dotted Line

Poetry Winter 2014    fiction    all issues


Debbra Palmer
Bake Sale
& other poems

Ann V. DeVilbiss
Far Away, Like a Mirror
& other poems

Michael Fleming
On the Bus
& other poems

Harold Schumacher
Dying To Say It
& other poems

Heather Erin Herbert
Georgia’s Advent
& other poems

Sharron Singleton
Sonnet for Small Rip-Rap
& other poems

Bryce Emley
College Beer
& other poems

Harry Bauld
On a Napkin
& other poems

George Mathon
Do You See Me Waving?
& other poems

Mariana Weisler
Soft Soap and Wishful Thinking
& other poems

Michael Kramer
Nighthawks, Kaua’i
& other poems

Jill Murphy
& other poems

Cassandra Sanborn
& other poems

Kendall Grant
Winter Love Note
& other poems

Donna French McArdle
White Blossoms at Night
& other poems

Tom Freeman
On Foot, Joliet, Illinois
& other poems

George Longenecker
& other poems

Kimberly Sailor
The Bitter Daughter
& other poems

Rebecca Irene
& other poems

Savannah Grant
And Not As Shame
& other poems

Michael Hugh Lythgoe
Titian Left No Paper Trail
& other poems

Martin Conte
We’re Not There
& other poems

A. Sgroi
Sore Soles
& other poems

Miguel Coronado
& other poems

Franklin Zawacki
Experience Before Memory
& other poems

Tracy Pitts
& other poems

Rachel A. Girty
& other poems

Ryan Flores
Language Without Lies
& other poems

Margie Curcio
& other poems

Stephanie L. Harper
Painted Chickens
& other poems

Nicholas Petrone
Running Out of Space
& other poems

Danielle C. Robinson
A Taste of Family Business
& other poems

Meghan Kemp-Gee
A Rhyme Scheme
& other poems

Tania Brown
On Weeknights
& other poems

James Ph. Kotsybar
& other poems

Matthew Scampoli
Paddle Ball
& other poems

Jamie Ross
Not Exactly
& other poems

Writer's Site

Danielle C. Robinson

A Taste of Family Business

After grace, the head of the family squared her lap.

Using her semi-wrinkled, mahogany hand,

she selected the silver from the left of her plate.

She scooped and sliced the first servings on China.

Then she softly smiled while politely passing the collards

to her first daughter who is sweeter

than her plate of yams and southern tea.

Her only son is the chicken out of the group that

stirs up home-made laughter to choke up every soul in their seat.

Patiently waiting, the new generation

sat like macaroni and cheese until their turn.

Over the savors of spices,

the variety of cuisines dished out silence

followed by a series of traditional “Mmm mmm good!”

First chance, the first cousin sang a hymn;

The second cousin proposed on bended knee;

and the third cousin sat pretty in pink—

announcing the development of a new edition.

By this time, joy was dancing in circles—

limiting water the opportunity to feud with blood.

Then the head of the family spoke

of the past to connect with the future.

The strength of her voice sprinkled wisdom

and tough love with blended whole truths.

Then her sister displayed her buffet of sweetness.

And they were all gravy and well served.

Notes of the Day

This time.

Eyes didn’t go probing for water.

This time.

Stems hid and petals too.

But, it found roots.

Not by the bay,

but gradually sprouting at window.

PITTER, patter.

splash, SCATTER.

Creating musical notes as it fall side by side.

Pinging from the sky to pong the Earth.

Obstructing objects with showers

to satisfy yesterday’s thirst.

PITTER, patter.

splash, SCATTER.

Feeling of the cool and calm pelting me—

as it alarm others with rage in avenues.

Gifting some peace cupped by tea.

Enticing laborers the fancy of sleep.

PITTER, patter.

splash, SCATTER

Next time,

Eyes will hear the sun.


I am from a city of pain,

where few fathers neglect their daughters.

Broken sons are often slaughtered.

I am from the “All American City.”

A home, somewhat quite bold and witty that

centers a market house that stocked and sold slaves,

and the 82nd Airborne—salute to the “Home of the Brave”!

A history of indigenous cultures steered

and speared by the rear of Cape Fear.

Best interest in spring?

Honeysuckles and dogwoods—

plant fresh scent of precious moments of my childhood.

I am little gardenia in queue—

raised on Gardenia Avenue.

Streets over, eyes squint and zoom

before I enter my pink and white bedroom,

Drugs sold and women occasionally auction their souls.

“Don’t leave without permission and be careful”, Momma always told.

I am a pinched carat straight out of coal,

in between hidden smiles and tortured souls,

that barely diffuse “Thank You”—

in the mist of the city’s troubles and midnight blues.

I am from a legacy of struggle—

where doubt politely invite life to crumble,

generations of corruption and abuse,

spirits high off booze and drug residue,

slight education and lack of motivation,

extreme colorism and degradation,

family values shredded by grudges

and overdue monetary value.

Here, the birthplace of my genome,

Polished-upand shine for the city I call home.

Every Night Forever

Over burning candles,

sweet wine kissed our lips

as a chilly breeze circled us.

The sky owns no moon tonight

as our hands practice constellations resembling l-o-v-e.

Behind the taste of laughter,

warmth tickles our hearts.

As our eyes think of a dance,

we extend hands to confirm yes to:

Care for me to be the skyline with you?

Care for us to be those portraits in motion?

Care for me to be that jazz breathing in your ear?

Care for us to glow together for the rest of our lives?

May She Rise

To Dr. Maya Angelou

Above in the sky,

glistening over the lives of millions,

may she rise.

Hoisted proudly in the wind,

flaring and flapping freely

in the honor of all people.

may she rise.

Uncaged, fearless, and melodic

with peace and hope under her wings,

may she rise.

Uprooted from oppression,

stemmed with elegance,

and of blooming beauty,

may she rise.

Fleeing cocoon,

dancing freely,

parading in majestic colors,

may she rise.

Like a soulful mezzo-soprano over an African drum,

joy to the world,

the words of a prayer,

a heart inhaling love,

and a spirit flown into heaven,

may she rise!

Danielle C. Robinson, a North Carolina native, is the author of A Slice of Purple Pie and the forthcoming poetry book Words I Should Have Said Before. She is a graduate from North Carolina Central University. She loves to dedicate her time to scientific research, writing, painting, African dancing, traveling, community service, and listening to music.

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