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.

expressing regret

expressing regret.jpg

expressing regret
in acoustic reflection
from a weary soul

flood of emotions
precious words misspent

burying the past
with blanket of emotions
and a heavy heart

This senryū trio is in response to Haiku Review Challenge – The Staves Winter Trees,
by The Secret Keeper.
The short film offered for review is an animated music video for “Winter Trees” by The Staves, produced by Karni and Saul, found on Vimeo.

fluid inversion

fluid inversion

haunting melody
in alien atmospheres
fluid inversion

landscapes or moonscapes?
delusion by infusion
fluid deception

mystical displays
chromatic presentations
fluid immersion

This haiku triplet is in response to Haiku Review Challenge – Waterballet by The Secret Keeper. The short film offered for review is Waterballet – Barbapapa by Kamiel Rongen, found on Vimeo.  A brief explanation of the process used to create the video can be found here.

almighty dollar

almighty dollar

almighty dollar
promoting consumerism
ensuing mayhem

with illusory bliss

going nowhere fast
in pursuit of happiness
amazing rat race

This haiku triplet is in response to Haiku Review Challenge by The Secret Keeper. The short film offered for review is a trailer for Happiness by Steve Cutts, found on Vimeo.  It’s 4m 16s in length, but you will want to pause frequently to see all of the details in this parody of consumerism.

The Night I Dance with Death ~ haibun

The Night I Dance with Death

Writing a haiku is not adequate in reviewing La Nuit Je Danse avec la Mort, a short animation. Both dark and erotic, it portrays a young man, caught in the grips of boredom, who accepts a pharmaceutical which at first brings pleasure, then horror, and finally erotic gratification that ultimately leads to what could be his untimely end. Rated “Mature” and worthy of an “R” rating for violence and sexual content, this short film is not meant for everyone. Call this a haibun, if you must.

self medication
escaping reality
the ultimate price


The Secret Keeper’s Haiku Review Challenge. The short film offered for review is La Nuit Je Danse avec la Mort by Gibaud Vincent (rating:Mature), found on Vimeo.