necessary whispers

observe. connect. make new.


July 2016

The Gathering

Gabriel PachecoA desert place

Inside my mind

Where space to roam is vast

Except when measured

In time

A solstice comes and

Flies away

Leaving feathers mingled with dust

A bouquet of season’s change and




Pulled into the winding array

Of paths to tread and

Reasons to stay

A voice relays

The journey’s end

I follow with

Delicate delay

As though my feet became

Petals of flowers plucked,

Blown from fingers along the way.



From the clouds atop this

Field of choices

Fall a squall of raindrop voices

Some I remember

All I once knew—

They color the sky with

Gradient hues and

Texture the air

By climbing the backs of birds

Singing memories, girded by words.



The journey’s end

A target I was told

Leads my way

Whether timid or bold,

Anchors my guts

Otherwise sold to

The left or right leaning

Endless directional proceedings

Into and away from

The fold.



As I go

Echoes are sold

By merchants at the corners

Of my mind

Pushing Fool’s Gold

Footholds that shine

Buffed with cashmere sleeves,

Vials of ocean brine

And glittering gems plucked

From selections I declined.



Night falls dim

Sounds of summer

Laced with creatures grim—

Croaking frogs choking songs of

Locusts and howling dogs

In a tangled succession of

Percussive orchestrations

And clanging questions

About crumbling fences and

Established jurisdictions.



In the dark

I lay my head

Overwhelmed by debility

Underwhelmed by dread and

Its magical power to summon


Like a tarp

Made of insects that swarm and

Fall, blanketing

Eyes, nose and ears.



Fallen and wondering

About the wandering

That brought me here

Not lost but stung by exhaust

Itching the welts

An immediate comfort

Drawing attention

From the progression of

Calculations and

Counting the costs.



In moments before sleep

Escape and retreat

From this present constellation

Revolving ‘round repeat

I hear the breath of a thousand souls

Feel the cracking ground

Vibrate beneath

A gentle army marching near

Unfettered strength

Spilling into the atmosphere.



In my mind

Where the battle is lost

Or won

I give in to the cavalry

Like a prodigal son

Go limp in my muscles

And rise with the fold

Who came to gather

My traveler’s bones—

From a desert place

Where space to roam is vast

And journey’s end as they began

Compelled toward the future

Gathered by the past.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by the art of Illustrator, Gabriel Pacheco.


Subsequent Kingdom


The hour came

When she no longer knew

Where to stand and so

She sat

In the middle of a ground

Hollowed of movement

And of sound

Wrapped her arms around

The tops of her knees

Squeezed and held

Herself in a balance

That felt like a trance

Faded memories danced

Then turned into smoke

Lifted up and


Transformed day into


Where what was bright

Had taken flight and

There was no way

To know for sure

Where her plight would

Take her or

Send her next but to a


So she slept and found

That nightmares abound

But dreams are the things

Worth stepping into

And so

She slept and she stepped:



She enters

Her feet soaked in regret

A substance heavier than she knew—


Leaves crunching

Small souls darting

Dripping mysteries and dew.



She stands in a forest hidden

Where light is shattered

By shadow—

The sun trickles

Down tree trunks until

It is devoured by the shade



In this place—

Where light and dark collide—

Life breathes

Without fear of

Being censured or




Her hands tremble

Adding vibration to the breeze

That shakes from unseen clouds

Wraps around her skin and

Seeps past petrified courage




Location undisclosed

To she and he and me

Lost inside—

No fear of being unfound

No regret of being drowned

Between the monotony there

And this cacophony of sound—


Increasing swells surround

Like a riptide racing around

Tearing her loose from security,

With confounding obscurity




A subsequent Queen

Bowed low

In a coronation of surrender to

Unpredictability and

Relinquished proposals and




Her scepter raised

Exposing cavity of beating heart

And soul

Warring against

Encroaching enemies

Threatening to bring low—



She breathes

She sighs

She catches the eyes

Of a creature coming near

In him a revelation

She holds dear

But senses she should not go near

Yet stuck

Between stimulus and

Reaction and

A choice as thick as the

Tangled underbrush below and

As wide as these grounds

She does not know

She stands still

A stabbing of thrill

Enters her side

Some kind of alive

Breeching the tenderness

Of the space in which

Her secrets hide.



She lowers her scepter now

Compelled to disavow

The tenacity of her presence


In a place that,


She should fear

There he stands

Quite near—

Treading upon this

Undisclosed ground

Gives air to her footsteps

And she, like a child,

Lays her focus at the feet

Of he and of


That surround her there—


Worships at the alter of

Her long forgotten

Sense of wonder.



Unexpected places

Unimagined faces

Unforeseen encounters

Remind her that life is

An unpredictable force

Impossible to bridle by

Her will

To maintain monotony,

“Let it be,”

Says she

With an indignant air

Of possibility

And a heaviness in her lungs

Making it difficult to breathe

But she breathes

And she sighs and

She moves into his realm

Sticks her fingers in and

Pries him open

Like a vice

Exposing his positives to

Her negatives—



A Pandora’s Box of


Cataclysmic exposure

Suicidal disclosure

Blasts through their chests and

Up and over

The tops of the trees

A burst of what is



Trading winds with

All that is seen

A hurricane of chemistry


Destroying the obscenely routine

Like a machine

Come to life

With a pulse and a


Sharpened knife.



She realized too late

That being crowned

In her dream

Precluded her stream

Of consciousness from


Stuck now inside her sleep—

Between worlds—

Stewing in a concoction of

Memories from her waking life

And the reality of

This present dream.



She remembers when

She had a choice

Where she sat

With her arms

Wrapped around her knees

And a breeze of normalcy

Blowing across her

Tear stained cheeks,

“The tears I knew

were softer

than these torrents

where light and dark

steal what


what was—

to imbue the present with

the power to

unscrew all

they whip through.”



The hour came

When she no longer knew

Where the path of her then

Met with the path of her

Now going through

So she sat with her crown

Awaiting sundown,

Her sleeping life

Mingling inside

Her subsequent kingdom.


copyright Jill Szoo Wilson

(Photo credit: This poem was inspired by German painter Heiko Müller‘s piece entitled, Bullriding.

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