Friday, November 11, 2016


by Dawn Pisturino
Honey drips with sweet sensation from her vampire lips,
And the naked round bosom swells with invitation;
Chick is not impressed though his loins beg urgently,
For Death lurks in those baby blue eyes,
And Chick is not prepared to die
For the satisfaction of his loins.
Suddenly the man who bedded a thousand
Is a man with feelings and a sense of pride.
His eyes see new visions in the morning sun.
Life, for him, is more than an elongated erection.
The big word looms in his brain: RELATIONSHIP.
He surveys the choice of women as a connoisseur,
Checking dates and labels, going for the blue ribbon prize.
He awakes alone most mornings now,
But once in a while, in the shadows of night,
A sweet sensation of honey-dew lips caresses his ears,
And Chick is pleasantly surprised:
The woman has a brain.
March 3, 1988
Published in The National Poetry Anthology, 1988
Copyright 1988-2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

My Grave

My Grave

Poem by Dawn Pisturino
Illustration by Richard Cunningbot

I think that I shall never crave
A home as lovely as a grave.
A restful place deep in the ground
Without a trace of light or sound.
A grassy mound high on a hill,
Host to yellow daffodil.
And when the snow begins to fall,
I will not be disturbed at all.
A pleasant park is all I need
And visitors who stop to read
The granite marker at my head:
"Rest in Peace to All the Dead!"

October 5, 2011

Published in the November 2011 issue of

Copyright 2011-2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Down in the Graveyard

Down in the Graveyard
by Dawn Pisturino
Illustration by Job van Gelder
Down in the graveyard by the old oak tree
Roamed an old mother zombie and her little zombies three.
"Fresh meat!" cried the mother. "Tastes sweet!" cried the three.
And they ripped out the intestines from the caretaker, Lee.
Down in the graveyard by the mausoleum door
Lived an old mother werewolf and her little wolfies four.
"Fresh fat!" howled the mother. "Tastes great!" howled the four.
And they tore into the belly of the visitor, Lenore.
Down in the graveyard by the rusty old gate
Hung an old mother vampire and her little vampies eight.
"Fresh blood!" squeaked the mother. "Tastes good!" squeaked the eight.
And they sank their greedy fangs into the gravedigger, Nate.
Published in the September 2012 issue of Underneath the Juniper Tree.
Copyright 2012-2016 Dawn Pisturino. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Gacela of the Dark Death

Poem by Federico Garcia Lorca
I want to sleep the dream of the apples,
to withdraw from the tumult of cemeteries.
I want to sleep the dream of that child
who wanted to cut his heart on the high seas.
I don't want to hear again that the dead do not lose their blood,
that the putrid mouth goes on asking for water.
I don't want to learn of the tortures of the grass,
nor of the moon with a serpent's mouth
that labors before dawn.
I want to sleep awhile,
awhile, a minute, a century;
but all must know that I have not died;
that there is a stable of gold in my lips;
that I am the small friend of the West wing;
that I am the intense shadows of my tears.
Cover me at dawn with a veil,
because dawn will throw fistfuls of ants at me,
and wet with hard water my shoes
so that the pincers of the scorpion slide.
For I want to sleep the dream of the apples,
to learn a lament that will cleanse me to earth;
for I want to live with that dark child
who wanted to cut his heart on the high seas.
BIO: Federico Garcia Lorca (1898-1936) became one of the most important poets and playwrights in 20th century Spain. He was murdered by Franco's soldiers during the Spanish Civil War for his homosexuality and liberal political views.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016


by Dawn Pisturino
The rich get richer, and the poor get poorer.
The government becomes a little bit colder
and a little bit bolder
and you know that we told her
it would happen.
The Left of the Right began to struggle with all its might
and decided to declare a revolution:
"It's the only solution to the capitalist institution,
and you know we've got to do it,
for our own evolution."
Spring 1971
NOTE:  It's time to put an end to rigged elections, corrupt politicians, and political candidates who betray their own supporters!
This one's for you, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders!
Retire this bitch forever.
Dawn Pisturino

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Cuban Poetry by Jose Marti and Nicolas Guillen

I wish to leave the world
By its natural door;
In my tomb of green leaves
They are to carry me to die.
Do not put me in the dark
To die like a traitor;
I am good, and like a good thing,
I will die with my face to the sun.
Jose Marti
When I see and touch myself,
I, Juan with Nothing only yesterday,
and Juan with Everything today,
and today with everything,
I turn my eyes and look,
I see and touch myself,
and ask myself, how this could have been.
I have, let's see,
I have the pleasure of going about my country,
owner of all there is in it,
looking closely at what
I did not or could not have before.
I can say cane,
I can say mountain,
I can say city,
say army,
now forever mine and yours, ours,
and the vast splendor of
the sunbeam, star, flower.
I have, let's see,
I have the pleasure of going,
me, a farmer, a worker, a simple man,
I have the pleasure of going
(just an example)
to a bank and speak to the manager,
not in English,
not in 'Sir,' but in companero as we say in Spanish.
I have, let's see,
that being Black
no one can stop me at the door of a dance hall or bar.
Or even on the rug of a hotel
scream at me that there are no rooms,
a small room and not a colossal one,
a tiny room where I can rest.
I have, let's see,
that there are no rural police
to seize me and lock me in a precinct jail,
or tear me from my land and cast me
in the middle of the highway.
I have that having the land I have the sea,
no country clubs,
no high life,
no tennis and no yachts,
but, from beach to beach and wave on wave,
gigantic blue open democratic:
in short, the sea.
I have, let's see,
that I have learned to read,
to count,
I have that I have learned to write,
and to think,
and to laugh.
I have . . . that now I have
a place to work
and earn
what I have to eat.
I have, let's see,
I have what I had to have.
(translated by J.A. Sierra)
Nicolas Guillen

Jose Marti bio: Jose Marti (1853-1895) is considered an important national hero of Cuba. He became an influential leader in Cuba's efforts to free itself from Spanish domination. His defense of Cuban nationalism earned him the title, the "Apostle of Cuban Independence." His writings influenced the Cuban Revolution led by Fidel Castro.

Nicolas Guillen bio: Nicolas Guillen (1902-1989) is best remembered as the national poet of Cuba. As a member of the Communist Party, he served for 25 years as president of the National Cuban Writers Union. He won the Stalin Peace Prize in 1954 and the Cuban National Prize for Literature in 1983.

Dawn Pisturino

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Book of Psalms

from "The Old Testament," NKJV


(To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David)

The fool has said in his heart,
"There is no God."
They are corrupt,
They have done abominable works,
There is none who does good.

The Lord looks down from
heaven upon the children of men,
To see if there are any who understand, who seek God.
They have all turned aside,
They have together become corrupt;
There is none who does good,
No, not one.

Have all the workers of iniquity no knowledge,
Who eat up my people as they eat bread,
And do not call on the Lord?
There they are in great fear,
For God is with the generation of the righteous.
You shame the counsel of the poor,
But the Lord is his refuge.

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the Lord brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

Psalm 20

(To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David)

May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble;
May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;
May He send you help from the sanctuary,
And strengthen you out of Zion;
May He remember all your offerings,
And accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah

May He grant you according to your heart's desire,
And fulfill all your purpose.
We will rejoice in your salvation,
And in the name of our God we will set up our banners!
May the Lord fulfill all your petitions.

Now I know that the Lord saves His anointed;
He will answer him from His holy heaven
With the saving strength of His right hand.

Some trust in chariots, and some in horses;
But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
They have bowed down and fallen;
But we have risen and stand upright.

Save, Lord!
May the King answer us when we call.

Psalm 23

(A Psalm of David)

The Lord is my shepherd;
I shall not want.
He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name's sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil;
For You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
My cup runs over.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
All the days of my life;
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord

The Psalms belong to those books in the Old Testament known as Wisdom Literature. They help us to answer five universal questions: How did we get here? What holds life together? Why are we here? What happens when we die? What will be the fate of the universe? There are 150 psalms divided into five books, each ending with a song of praise to God. They were composed by Jewish sages in the Hebrew language, who employed a wide variety of poetic literary techniques, to express strong human emotions. They are as relevant and popular today as they were thousands of years ago. Psalm 23 is my absolute favorite because reading it instantly calms me and gives me hope.

Dawn Pisturino

Sunday, March 13, 2016

My Pretty Rose Tree and Other Poems by William Blake

My Pretty Rose Tree

A flower was offered to me;
Such a flower as May never bore.
But I said I've a Pretty Rose Tree;
And I passed the sweet flower o'er.

Then I went to my Pretty Rose Tree;
To tend her by day and by night.
But my Rose turned away with jealousy;
And her thorns were my only delight.

Ah! Sunflower

Ah Sunflower! weary of time,
Who countest the steps of the Sun:
Seeking after that sweet golden clime
Where the traveler's journey is done.

Where the Youth pined away with desire,
And the pale Virgin shrouded in snow:
Arise from their graves and aspire,
Where my Sunflower wishes to go.

The Lily

The modest Rose puts forth a thorn:
The humble Sheep, a threatening horn:
While the Lily white, shall in Love delight,
Nor a thorn nor a threat stain her beauty bright.

The Garden of Love

I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.

And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.

And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tombstones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys and desires.


William Blake (1757-1827) was an English poet, painter, engraver, and mystic. His book of poems, Songs of Experience (1794), contains some of his most beloved poems, including "The Tyger."


Saturday, March 5, 2016

The Fairies - William Allingham

Up the airy mountain,
     Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
     For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
     Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
     And white owl's feather!
Down along the rocky shore
Some make their home,
They live on crispy pancakes
Of yellow tide-foam;
Some in the reeds
Of the black mountain-lake,
With frogs for their watch-dogs,
All night awake.
High on the hill-top
The old King sits;
He is now so old and gray
He's nigh lost his wits.
With a bridge of white mist
Columbkill he crosses,
On his stately journeys
From Slieveleague to Rosses;
Or going up with music
On cold starry nights,
To sup with the Queen
Of the gay Northern Lights.
They stole little Bridget
For seven years long;
When she came down again
Her friends were all gone.
They took her lightly back,
Between the night and morrow,
They thought that she was fast asleep,
But she was dead with sorrow.
They have kept her ever since
Deep within the lake,
On a bed of flag-leaves,
Watching till she wake.
By the craggy hill-side,
Through the mosses bare,
They have planted thorn-trees
For pleasure here and there.
Is any man so daring
As dig them up in spite,
He shall find their sharpest thorns
In his bed at night.
Up the airy mountain,
Down the rushy glen,
We daren't go a-hunting
For fear of little men;
Wee folk, good folk,
Trooping all together;
Green jacket, red cap,
And white owl's feather!
William Allingham (1824 - 1889) was a popular Irish poet during the Victorian Era whose poem "The Fairies" became a childhood classic.



Saturday, February 20, 2016

British Love Poems


Sonnet XLIII

from Sonnets from the Portuguese

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints, -- I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! -- and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

~Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861)~

The Passionate Shepherd to His Love

Come live with me and be my Love,
And we will all the pleasures prove
That hills and valleys, dales and fields,
Or woods or steepy mountain yields.

And we will sit upon the rocks,
And see the shepherds feed their flocks
By shallow rivers, to whose falls
Melodious birds sing madrigals.

And I will make thee beds of roses
And a thousand fragrant posies;
A cap of flowers, and a kirtle
Embroider'd all with leaves of myrtle.

A gown made of the finest wool
Which from our pretty lambs we pull;
Fair-lined slippers for the cold,
With buckles of the purest gold.

A belt of straw and ivy-buds
With coral clasps and amber studs:
And if these pleasures may thee move,
Come live with me and be my Love.

The shepherd swains shall dance and sing
For thy delight each May morning:
If these delights thy mind may move,
Then live with me and be my Love.

~Christopher Marlowe (1564-1593)~

Jenny Kiss'd Me

Jenny kiss'd me when we met,
     Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
     Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
     Say that health and wealth have miss'd me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
     Jenny kiss'd me.

~Leigh Hunt (1784-1859)~

So We'll Go No More a Roving

So we'll go no more a roving
     So late into the night,
Though the heart be still as loving,
     And the moon be still as bright.

For the sword outwears its sheath,
     And the soul wears out the breast,
And the heart must pause to breathe,
     And Love itself have rest.

Though the night was made for loving,
     And the day returns too soon,
Yet we'll go no more a roving
     By the light of the moon.

~George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)~

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Fire and Ice: Robert Frost

Robert Frost
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.
Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village, though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark, and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.
BIO:  Robert Frost (1874-1963) was an American poet whose rural New England themes captured the hearts and minds of Americans everywhere. He received four Pulitzer Prizes for Poetry and the Congressional Gold Medal during his lifetime. On July 22, 1961, he was named Vermont's Poet Laureate. He is best known for his poem, "The Road Not Taken."         

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Poems for the New Year


I remember, I remember
The house where I was born,
The little window where the sun
Came peeping in at morn;
He never came a wink too soon
Nor brought too long a day;
But now, I often wish the night
Had borne my breath away.

I remember, I remember
The roses, red and white,
The violets, and the lily-cups --
Those flowers made of light!
The lilacs where the robin built,
And where my brother set
The laburnum on his birthday, --
The tree is living yet!

I remember, I remember
Where I was used to swing,
And thought the air must rush as fresh
To swallows on the wing;
My spirit flew in feathers then
That is so heavy now,
And summer pools could hardly cool
The fever on my brow.

I remember, I remember
The fir-trees dark and high;
I used to think their slender tops
Were close against the sky;
It was a childish ignorance,
But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm further off from Heaven
Than when I was a boy.

~ Thomas Hood ~


Four seasons fill the measure of the year;
There are four seasons in the mind of Man:
He has his lusty Spring, when fancy clear
Takes in all beauty with an easy span:

He has his Summer, when luxuriously
Spring's honey'd cud of youthful thought he loves
To ruminate, and by such dreaming high
Is nearest unto heaven: quiet coves

His soul has in its Autumn, when his wings
He furleth close; contented so to look
On mists in idleness -- to let fair things
Pass by unheeded as a threshold brook: --

He has his Winter too of pale misfeature,
Or else he would forego his mortal nature.

~ John Keats ~


My heart leaps up when I behold
  A rainbow in the sky;
So was it when my life began,
So is it now I am a man,
So be it when I shall grow old
    Or let me die!
The Child is father of the Man:
And I could wish my days to be
Bound each to each by natural piety.

~ William Wordsworth ~


Dawn Pisturino, RN