Five Poems

Doug Bolling

Photo Credit: Sue Langford

Rain Diary

The days we two collected
like smooth pebbles on
beaches of childhood.

How, now, Joanna, they slide
away in the rain of your

The words that held us
together for most of five years
or so it seemed.
How we sang one another into
belief in something unending.

And now it rains throughout
the known world.
And now you are gone like a light
in storm that was here and
now not.


Talking It Out

World I ask you.
I ask you over and over.

River overflows. My favorite
library will sink
or swim.

And I still have no answers
on the wireless set
of soul.

Is it enough to be filled
with pictures and sounds
telling the story of my
life my death here in
the whorl of mirage.

And if I step through the
scrim of things what will
I find but you world still
keeping your vast mouth shut
like a door without hinges.

And if I walk out into moonlight
(so lovely so there)
what will I say to the
stranger who rides always

beside me, more me than



We wrote wildly.
The shadows.
Sunlight crumpled
into a heap
next door to
the sea.

it was dark.
Our souls,
circuitry locked
inside a

we had tried to enter
there demanding a
genuine recognition

No curtain parted.

What else but to
rush onward
or side to side
pushing ourselves
along on the
of a pen.

So much white paper.
So much needing to be
inscripted with the
blood ink
of whatever
we were.

But the disconnect.
The shortfall.

This curious trick
of the gods
who must have
laughed in
their sleep.



It slides through me
silent as light.

Time the word.
Time the god
building mosaics
out of past present

leaving us mostly the
frail parchment
of memory.

Love. Lovers. To love.
The lure of this,
the syntax made of
verbs, nouns, the
enfoldings of

This body
calculating its measures,
hiding behind soul
that comes and goes,
a sea gull along
the wind wracked

So much unknown.
Even books slowly
uncoiling into their
appointed atoms.

It is dangerous
to walk here
being entirely of time,
the vanishings
only moments


Night Search

Sometimes in night
planes of light enter and
leave the soul.

This is not thought that can
be touched.

Who has weighed sorrow
in the chemical lab.

Who has carried love around
in a box of exact

Long ago I understood
I didn’t exist.

That what they told me of
myself is only a shadow
without substance.

Sometimes I wrote a poem
hoping for more.

For you who has filled
the cup of yourself
to send music
through the flattened
air if only for a
few moments.


Doug Bolling’s poetry has appeared widely in literary magazines including Georgetown Review, Poetalk, Italian Americana, Connecticut River Review, Illuminations, Trajectory, Blueline and Earthshine among others. He has received two Pushcart Prize nominations. Once upon a time he lived for a year and a half in France and now resides in the greater Chicago area. Email: dougbolling[at]

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