thicker than water, by Jane Dougherty

thicker than water, by Jane Dougherty

Receiving “thicker than water,” the new chapbook from Jane Dougherty, I read. And I read on. With each new poem I thought I had found my favorite. When I came to the end I looked back and thought it should be “She says,” with these lines:

“you will still have my hand’s touch,
the depth of my eyes, the falling into step
that will never fail, while there is still a star
pinned to the vault of the heavens.”

But perhaps because of certain events, situations that make me realize that even the best plans are subject to forces beyond our control, I decided on two favorites, “The storm is coming” and “Grieving.”

From “The storm is coming,” these lines speak to me:

“Will we stay in this skin-warmed dimness
Or walk separate paths
Strewn with roses and thorns,
To a still trout pool, a cove of the sea?”

And from “Grieving,” these words:

“the rain, and the land forever disappeared

in an ocean of mist. Silence.
I called out to bring you back,
my white-breasted gull,

but only the moon replied,
tossing her horns, and strewed the
empty waves with silver feathers.”

With each of the twenty-six poems in this chapbook you will come to understand how rain and waves, and yes even cold seas, are woven through our thoughts and emotions as we navigate events in our lives.

As she says in “The wise woman in the shell”:

“True songs are in the water,
strung and plucked by the wind’s flight
through the chords of the wild air.”

Each of these poems is a song.

“thicker than water,” the new chapbook from Jane Dougherty, is available in the US in both paperback and Kindle format at It’s also available at these Amazon links:


Order your copy today. You’ll be glad you did.

The Color of Rain ~ tritina

The Color of Rain

Glad, the days when I hear
the colors in the sky
speaking through the rain,

their voices telling the rain,
“Listen closely and hear
the beauty of the sky.

Your own voice within the sky
is most welcome, rain,
joined with ours for all to hear.”

Glad too, the rain, to hear such welcome in the sky.

This is my response to Words and picture poetry challenge – 1, from Jane Dougherty, where she offers the Francis Ledwidge poem “Thomas McDonagh” with the challenge that we use three words from the poem as the end-of-line words in a tritina, with the Ledwidge poem as inspiration. (a variance, on my part, here)

Tritina ~ a poem with three three-line stanzas and a fourth stanza of one line
~ the same three end words used in the first three stanzas, in this order in                 successive stanzas: 1,2,3; 3,1,2; 2,3,1
~ the last, one-line stanza using the three words
“The repetition of words in a Tritina makes this form a good match for
a story that uses common speech, for in conversation the repetition of key words is common.” (
The three words used here are hear, sky and rain (1,2,3)

Also shared with Open Link Night #262, at dVerse Poets Pub.

Image source: / Michael Koralewski

New year, new star

I’m sure that many who follow me in their reader also follow Jane, but I want to share this, regardless. Her writing can take many different directions (all of them good). In this, I find myself thinking of my life as one minuscule part of all that surrounds me, yet as an integral part of that greater whole, and that is a good thing.

Jane Dougherty Writes

This tanka is for Frank Tassone’s New Year challenge.


Stars, sky-spangles shift,

slow and stately, wheels turning,

through time and cold space.

Each new year, another light

in the endless firmament.

View original post

Without Reservation

Without Reservation.jpg

Without Reservation

I would that the Boar without bristles had come from the West
and had rooted the sun and moon and stars out of the sky.

In his stead, we sailed from the east to drive him from his land.
The sun, moon and stars taunting him with a freedom
that would not be his, we herded him
into a destiny of manifest squalor
while spoiling his land,
free of guilt
in our own

This is my response to Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats: Day Twenty-Eight (each day a new Yeats quote)

“I would that the Boar without bristles had come from the West
And had rooted the sun and moon and stars out of the sky”
W.B. Yeats

Image source: “The Trail of Tears” by Max D. Standley

Child within My Heart

Child within My Heart

Child within My HeartCarefree, this bundle
we bring into life,
shielded from the trials
we face, the worries
that plague us.

Though life is short,
it will not pass her by
without challenge. With
our love and guidance,
she will meet
the lessons it offers.

And so she sleeps,

This is my response to Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats: Day Twenty-Seven (each day a new Yeats quote)

“Once more the storm is howling, and half hid
Under this cradle-hood and coverlid
My child sleeps on.”
W.B. Yeats

framing a question

framing a question

joy of youth, framed
a window on the past
mystery hidden within

held in reserve
without reassurance

meanings unknown
his questions

turmoil hidden
how did we not see,
our question

his absence our loss
our unasked question,

My thoughts on seeing a photo of a young man, a friend, who had taken his life many years ago. 

This is my response to Jane Dougherty’s A Month with Yeats: Day Twenty-Four (each day a new Yeats quote).

“We know their dream; enough
To know they dreamed and are dead”
W.B. Yeats