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  • Joan Schweighardt

Five Directions Press Authors Dish: Poetry

Updated: Aug 30, 2020

Here in our dish feature we have covered many a topic, from our sweetest memories to our favorite pets to our most secret indulgences… but this is the first time we’ve challenged ourselves to come up with poems. And so we remind you, we are novelists, one and all, not poets. Nevertheless, here is our effort at frolic, tribute, wit and mysticism, in verse.


Ariadne Apostolou

A frigid pig, a salty tree, you seem to be,

a dank cat.

Really? I’d say a brilliant apple.

Look beneath my foxy wig:

a neon Frisbee, a fleet roller skate.

Curiosity swells a sidling mind

to break upon the rumpled shores

of shooting space.

Oh, I think not, dear.

I’d more believe you are a

tiresome paper without ideas. The

orange moss that does not grow,

the sad rocket wobbling

off trajectory.

The Choice Is His of Where and When We Bike

Joan Schweighardt

(Shakespearean sonnet format)

The choice is his of where and when we bike

As is the choice of what CDs we play.

With films accord we oft’ do find we strike.

But when it comes to games of chance: no way!

He likes to be the one to pick our meals,

And his degree of hunger sets their time.

To stay or go depends on how he feels;

Not oft’ with others do his intents align.

A man who knows his needs, I’ll give you that,

And knows the path to get to needs is will.

His vote, once cast, is set; it’s pat!

And thus does he his dreams and goals fulfill.

But lest you think his whims I do abet,

Please know my list of regs is longer yet.

How to Prepare

(written for my father before he died on February 1, 2020)

Claudia H. Long

You ask me, how do I prepare? No one knows.

Some have no time, it goes by in the blur of a stop sign

and others have all the time

but the mind was stolen long before.

Now that you’ve been given a reprieve, though,

you could call all the people you love,

tell them you love them

one at a time. 

Ask them to say your name

One more time

Say your name often,

especially when recounting your virtues, or telling your stories. 

And now that you mention it,

have you ever had blini with caviar and champagne,

or maybe it’s oysters Rockefeller,

or steak Diane,

or whatever the dish might be, it can be brought to you;

and the chance to see that Danny Kaye movie one more time,

or listen to Symphony Eroica, or Bobby Darrin’s best album

one more time.

Since there’s time, you can still say our names,

Say our names one by one,

one more time.

Mountain Spirit Speaks

Gabrielle Mathieu

You can read my spoken-word piece, Mountain Spirit Speaks, below, or you can enjoy it in this short video where it is accompanied by nature images and music, here.

Either way, you should know that the text reflects the experience of having an affinity to one of the five elements, in this case Metal. In my new fantasy series, which begins with the novel Girl of Fire, the people of the Heartland have an inborn connection to a certain element, which forms their character. Oberin, the discerning and melancholy Master of the Scrolls, feels a connection to Metal.

There is knowing, there is wisdom, a difference.

There is appetite, an accumulation, but not for me.

I am yearning, there is a world of knowing.

And I am learning,

the blue, the blue,

the heavenly blue, which is the place where my heart falls quiet.

There I abide, and abides in me

the mountains and their power.

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