No One Wants to Know the Darkness

No one wants to know the darkness

They feel that they have let that go

But light seems so empty and hollow

Without that dark to show its glow


No one wants to feel the pain

Yet our joy springs from the pit of it

We cannot know our abode of happy

Without pain arising as the transit


No one wants to be in melancholy

They don’t want to feel the blues

Yet peace wanders in the desert

And we put on our soul-searching shoes


We are a changing river of emotions

And no one feeling stays the same

Until we reach the place of home

The torrents claim our single name


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Model THIS Body…

I look at the editor of the magazine

And I want to holler,

“Here, make THIS body look good!”

Don’t just cater to the young crowd.

Look at the old with jiggling jowls,

With sagging boobs and bellies,

With fat ankles and forearms.

Look at the faces not helped with makeup,

The eyelids that are floppy and baggy,

The wrinkles, the gray hair.

Model those who have a walker,

A cane, an oversized wheelchair.

Those who need bottled oxygen,

Those who need meds that cause weight gain.

Stop pandering to the youth and fresh

Because one day they will be US.


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


I am floating in a pool of essence

I breathe the rarefied air of Spirit

My body is weightless, a piece of Heaven

I call the angels into my being


My comfort, I lean upon your shoulder

I become peace, with the birds of peace

I skim the currents, I dive and rise

Exuberant with the celestial winds


I return to my body, the burdens upon me

I try to fly, but my legs are in chains

I can only sing, and these words spill out

Like honey on a piece of dry toast

Conjoined, my spirit in this dense birdcage


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


From a weekend word challenge:


We dig through the mulch, the topsoil, the clay

Dreaming in fields of vibrant foliage

Yet all we see are worms and rocks

In their own tones of dirt and roots


We plant, cover and water

Waiting for the seeds to die and rebirth

Something in ourselves, our passion, our love

Amazed that a dull seed can become so beautiful


We wait, and we must wait longer

Impatience brings death, so we keep dreaming


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Mary Gold

They wanted to name her after a flower, they said

Round, ripe, full of juice with her cheeks

Curved, fuzzy, with a touch of red in her hair


She grew up as a sapling, branch thin

Her tresses were fire-engine red and curly

Freckles were landmarks to her heritage


Her parents protested at first, she’s not ours

Something wrong must have happened here

But then they reclaimed her as their own


She wished she hadn’t been, she thought

As she sat primly in the witness box

Torched with words by the defense attorney


Home has been torn from her heart

And no matter what the crime was

She’ll miss her mommy and daddy


But she just wanted them to stop





© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Oasis of Home

I’m floating on an island

In the desert of suburbia

My springs run beneath

The freeway and the mall

I have access to refreshment

In the midst of sterile lawns

And stylized robotic trees

My hair runs wild and loose

Amongst buns and ponytails

I train my eye to the telescope

While others look at their phones

As their children play unashamed

Amidst a busy side street

Cars tumble in every direction

Like jacks and marbles in a toy box

I sit under the shade and dream

While the world winds around me

I retreat to my room of solace

While kids play in the retention ponds

In this monochromatic, chaotic place

I focus within and birth a wilderness


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

What You Bring to the Table

When you bring your water to the table,

Is it turgid? Is it simple?

Is it calm or is it foaming?

Is it clear or is it cloudy?


When you bring your bread to the table,

Is it moldy? Is it fresh?

Is it only one grain or many?

Is it frozen or just baked?


When you bring your fruit to the table,

Is it spoiled? Is it just picked?

Is it bright or its color muted?

Is it firm with fiber or soft with juice?


What is it that you bring to the table?

The best you are, or a pale imitation?

Alive and alert, or tired without sleep?

Complete and whole, or a gaping hole?


What you bring to the table matters


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Last Chance For Winter

Dark water yields to sun

Gray sky gives way to blue

Yet the temp is still cold

What are we here to do?


It matters not your landscape

Bare of trees and flowers

Find the old season’s bounty

As the new spreads in the hours


Look outside the windows

See the squirrels scamper away

See the birds in fluffed up feathers

They each in their work today


We sit at our desks and dream

Amongst emails and spreadsheets

Hunger for pie and freedom

Until our toil is made complete


We gaze at the cut blossoms

And whisper greatly for spring

Yet the wind snaps and crunches

Winter’s last blessing, it brings



© 2018 Valerie Hathaway


Belinda wants to know you

She reaches into her coat pocket

And brings out a quarter

For a candy bar that costs

A dollar nowadays


This is in the past, though

And she lives in the past

But she is curious all the same


She yells at the customer service rep

But it’s not his fault

That inflation keeps happening

And costs have gone up

To appease the shareholders

Most of them have this for retirement

And all they seem to want

Is a candy bar that costs a quarter


A house made of brick and asbestos

Back when they were sturdier

She thought it would survive a tornado

But she can’t patch the roof

Or fix the leaking toilet

She is watching reruns of reruns

And complaining about the young people

Who have to pay a dollar for a candy bar

When it used to be a quarter


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway

Wandering Back Into My Soul

(A stream of consciousness poem)


Wandering back into my soul

There’s dirt on my nose

My forehead and cheeks

Are new grounds for sweat

Waiting in the brushed dome

I see the face and say it’s not me

This isn’t the me I know

This is a bitter old woman

Not even a shower and makeup

Could clean and cover this wound

It rests deep in the ego

And tears well like a small child

Scraping her knee for the first time


I want to move to someplace

Wild and desolate

Where I can scream into the wind

And splash in the whirlpools

Ignorant of judging potentates

Free from angry hordes of memes

And sardonic laughter

Pounded out of their keyboards


“Where is the tenderness”

The song plays on and

A more disgruntled artist

Comes next with a bone

To throw at the authorities

Everyone seems to dwell in space

Others rattle their cages and lament

In harsh low tones and shrieks


Where am I, I wonder

And drink another cup of coffee

My innards wail and protest

I must stand and move on

From this unhappy place

Wiping the sweat off with my shirt sleeves

I try so hard to keep it pretty

Now it’s dead flowers and loneliness

Waiting for the Watcher to come


© 2018 Valerie Hathaway