Saturday, February 8, 2020

*NEW POEM - Waiting for Magic

It's been a while!  I have been diving deep in that other major creative realm of mine, the visual.  A few poems cropped up in my head. It's hard to think when they do that. 

Here's one for fun. Enjoy! ~ jdc

Beans in the Yard
by Judith Cullen
© 2020

They got dropped there on Christmas Day,
The casserole gratefully rescued;
The food still good, still edible.
I should have raked them back then,
whisked them away - disposed.
I was curious. What would happen?

"Do not step on the beans!"

Eight weeks later, they are still there.
No giants are roaming the streets,
Harp music does not waft downstairs,
and the front porch is entirely bereft - 
no burnished fowl or its progeny
squatting in fabled expectation.

I was diligent. I looked.

Maybe the barbecue sauce blocked
all the enchanted potentialities.
Perhaps onions carefully diced are
an antidote to storybook creations.
Some have turned black, while others
grow mushier from rain, snow, and frosts.

Surely one of them might have been magic!

I should have raked them away,
whisked them into the trash.
But I was curious. I wanted to know.


Tuesday, October 15, 2019


Okay, seriously . . . a show of hands: how many of you can relate to this?

Tough-Talk Monday Morning
by Judith Cullen
© 2019

The alarm is the first to speak up,
klaxon of Monday's dawn arrival.
Could another 30 minutes be stolen?
The voice of commuting cars nearby
confirm time will not, cannot wait.

I want to stomp my foot, to rage.
I want all the little things to inflate
to insulate against things that matter
the things that hurt, wound, frustrate:
despair, anger, and disappointment.

My aged inner voice says, "grow up!"
wild, childish passions of the weekend
are banished, rinsed away in the froth
of cooling lavender scented soapsuds.
Then standing, fully rational and adult
I face the chill air of a brand new week.


Tuesday, October 8, 2019

*NEW POEM* On the Inevitability of Autumn

Gone Back to School
by Judith Cullen
© 2019

As if there were books involved,
pencils and pens, sharp and new,
backpacks crisp from purchase.
Though decades have passed since
our feet trod the waxy floors,
the reality of autumn is here, and
we have all gone back to school.

The carefree mists of summer
have all evaporated in entire.
No more pretext of long days,
no more buoyant assumptions
as the world seems endlessly
in bloom and perpetual growing.
We have all gone back to school.

Friday, September 13, 2019

IN DEDICATION to "Calendar Girls"

Like the Trees
by Judith Cullen
© 2019

It is happening now, the first bright accents
tipping the leaves, portents of change.
Undeniable inevitability calling forth,
trumpeting the arrival of Autumn.

Soon the trees will be ablaze with Fall:
red, orange, golden and ranges in between.
They've lived the innocence of Spring blossoms,
endured the long labors of Summer.

Now they vibrantly erupt, a brilliant flare
inconsiderate of the looming Winter.
One glorious, joy-affirming exultation
before the great sleep that comes to all.

In my Autumn, I will be like the trees.
I shall courageously dress myself in flame,
Tossing the years of happiness and sorrow
around me proudly - a shawl of experiences.

Not for me the dull dimming of the day,
consignment to a faded ghost of endurance.
I shall burn bright at the waning, in celebration,
then crumble to dust with the satisfied sigh of life.


This poem is dedicated to the cast, crew and staff of Tacoma Little Theatre's 2019 production of Tim Firth's Calendar Girls, directed by Vicki Webb.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

POEM: A Brand New View

Finally from the Inside
by Judith Cullen
© 2019

Quite ordinary, this couple:
she was not a breathtaking beauty,
he was not ruggedly handsome.
Not dressed all in the mode,
shoes showing some common wear.
They were not blushing youths,
but had not reached the middle.
There they were, resplendent
in their normality.

Little things gave them away;
how they dropped off the prescription
together, speaking casually.
Their rapport steady, not constant.
A gesture by way of direction,
the closeness of their walking,
a momentary grasped hand.
It was an effortless, comfortable,
apparent easiness.

Saturday, April 6, 2019

ANOTHER READING - Tuesday, April 9th

Hear ye! Hear ye!  Fans of my Irish Tales ...

I'll be reading "Two Houses" from A Trio of Irish Tales II this week, live online, Tuesday April 9th from 7-8:30pm pacific time.  It is one of the most complicated short stories I have ever written - in many ways a climax of an emotional four year journey that preceded it.

In "Two Houses" a young American couple on their honeymoon find their ties to Irish heritage are far more insistent than just a simple perusal of genealogies. As the past disturbs their future, Mark and Cate must unravel the mystery of two houses that suffered very different fates, but that are somehow connected.

Interested?  Send me a Personal message on facebook, of comment on my facebook page and I will send you the link to listen.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

POEM: Priorities Are Important, in Love.

This one, for fun ...

How Do I Love Thee?
by Judith Cullen
© 2019

Sitting together on the hardwood
the box slid carefully in my direction.

Cautious question, and "just open it!"
I lift the lid, part the tissue, and sigh.

They lay in a cushioned delicacy,
dark as midnight, and gleaming.