top of page

Patty Dickson Pieczka


Summer's dream left its sandy footprint,

slight and pronged as a bird's. I lift


its song, fragile as glass, but it falls,

breaking into minutes in the sibilant


sounds of surf and shell. I am lost

somewhere between faith and time's desire


to sacrifice what it loves. A couple

walks by and their kiss drifts, leaving


a trail, their touch chilled

by the breeze. The afternoon becomes thin


and gray, its shadow gathering.

A wave licks the wing from a sand angel.



The streets are hungry.

They shake and bend

with fractured footsteps.


When the red dirt road falls

to its knees in blood

and sweet flaming poisons,


my eyes reflect

ghosts of steam rising

from the farm-pond.


My voice is the wind

rasping through

dried stalks of corn.


Some say there is no storm

drumming charcoal bullets of rain

against the broken cross,

no jackal-shaped cloud

cloaked in black, waiting.


Some walk star-stone paths

through confusions

of wild plums, peer into

the gum-thick lake and see

their own blank faces.


I speak to them, and my breath

evaporates. Time melts into smoke

and rises in its twisted dance until

the moon ashes into a gray smudge

and disappears.


Sometimes at night I hear

the moon's heartbeat,

warm and soft. It sleeps,


unaware of earth's weeping

glaciers, her heavy breath,

the hunger in her roots. An oak,


in the ancient glow, scatters truth

like acorns, weaves darkness into

words, threads the sky with tales


of loss – of balance and bees

and sorrow, while a branch's

finger scratches my window.


begins as it always does,

like a mosquito, its tiny buzz

assaulting the ear, the agility

of acrobatic tongues:


words broken and glued back together,

words scooped empty, hollow

and ringing, words cracked open

and drained of their juice.


Breezes brewed of shattered sounds

melt sun into gold that slips

into pockets, melt hatred

into sweet dark wine.


Reason peels like birch bark,

sifts to the wind, as voices

of the lost and seeking hiss

and steam through spirals of mist.

Patty Dickson Pieczka’s second book of poetry, Painting the Egret's Echo, won the Library of Poetry Book Award for 2012 from The Bitter Oleander Press. Other books are Lacing Through Time (Bellowing Ark Press, 2011), and a chapbook,Word Paintings (Snark Publishing, 2002). In both the 2012 ISPS contest and the Maria W. Faust Sonnet Contest, she placed first and has had writing contributions in more than fifty literary journals. She graduated from the creative writing program at Southern Illinois University. Her short play won first prize from the Paradise Alley Players, and she received first place in the fiction contest at John A. Logan College.

bottom of page