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  R E A D I N G S           
  A poem for today











I am lying in the sun

on a rock in mid-river,

white water curling past.


When I was twenty

and had the right shoes (and legs)

I'd race the water down


from boulder to boulder, defying

Heraclitus:  I've often stepped

in the same river twice.


Tree-trunks shoot upward,

explode above me

into slow August fireworks.


Who is it here

who feels April at his back

in the rock,


in his face,

rushing water

on either hand? 


In no time, time passes.


                -- Bill Holshouser

                in Naked Bread


Submitted by Susan Donnelly

in tribute to our much-missed












A longish while I've watched a grey-brown gull

-- or duck, I'll have to check the Peterson guide --

make toward what seems to be a lobster buoy.

Puzzling purpose, if admirable form.

The buoy's spanking white and black and yellow.

Is it a place to rest before paddling on?

Hedges of beach plum, blackbirds, honeysuckle

somewhere near, and just past the breakwater

the Veronica G. sets out for a day's fishing.

                                                                      Wait --

I see now that the lobster buoy can swim,

it's yellow-throated, winged with black and white,

and that the grey-brown bird has caught it up,

circling her mate.  Who flaps, looks wooden again.


                                                --Susan Donnelly





In a village thirteen hundred meters up

in the French Alps

one woman keeps her nine cows

in the Park of Vanoise,

where they feed on grass and flowers.

These flowers are the source

of the blue mold

that passes naturally into the milk.

The cheese she makes is of great quality,

a little fatty, down-to-earth, refined.

The mold develops, spreads its map

of veins. The crust

is white and brown, rocklike.

The pâte--the filling--

is crumbly. During affinage,

the ripening and curing,

she turns the cheese and wipes it

daily, for five months.

This fermier cheese,

made in its mountain hut so lovingly,

is best with Tokay wine, or with a white

called Rivesaltes.

Bon appétit!


                    --Deborah Melone 

Radcliffe Culinary Times





The whole time I've sat here
at the coffee shop window
no one's given her anything.
It puts people off, that jivey,
almost-dance as she comes up,
with a smile that says you and she
share a joke.  In her twenties
probably, good clothes, fresh-faced,
            but awry somehow,
like the way she spoke
just now, as I came from the bank
any sweeties?  something like that
I didn't quite catch, and startled,
  -- do I know her? --
I hurried past, since it was pouring.
Most people don't even stop.
Only one starts to talk with her,
then, step by step, backs away.
Whenever the sidewalk's empty,
she stops jigging, walks under rain
in a slow circle.  Her head is bent.
She doesn't pull up her hood.

                        -- Susan Donnelly
Poetry Ireland Review (PIR99)


<for Jay and Ted>

"Ignorance is your chief asset," the poet said.
This time, for certain. I know full well that
home is only steps away, and just beyond
the arcaded fence is a commuter rail line.
We're within earshot of the firehouse,
on a nondescript New England city side street.

But anyone as obtuse as me
about climate, terrain, and vegetation,
could dream this was tucked away
in a corner of Tuscany or near the Pyrenees --
just an easy stroll from fine local wine,
fresh-baked bread, a hearty hunter's stew;
not in the corner of a yard
on a New England city side street.
Sometimes, as now,
delusion is its own best reward.

John Hildebidle
August 2004


previous poems
  Every Other Thursday is a Cambridge-based poetry collective which has been meeting every other Thursday since 1980. Members read regularly throughout the greater Boston area, and between them have published over 25 books of poetry.

Members include:

Susan Donnelly

John Hildebidle

John Hodgen

Deborah Melone

Bonnie Bishop

Polly Brown

Conrad Squires

David McCann

Sarah Bennett

Ellen Steinbaum