Yesterday, while I stood in my kitchen,
deeply inhaling the steam
from the just-opened dishwasher,
that had, somehow,
transported me
into my grandmother’s kitchen,
I stared into the racks, breathing.
While my mind conjured the yellow tiles,
rock-patterned linoleum,
white metal cabinets,
and apricot preserves,
on a fresh Irish scone.

And in that moment,
I wondered. Somewhere,
in the whatever is Beyond,
was my grandmother also transported
on that blast of steam,
into my kitchen?

Could she smell the roast I made?
Could she see that we painted the kitchen yellow?
Did she notice her plate on the wall?

Nichole M. Dulin


The Train

Train brakes
in a river-run circle
around my world.

Do you hear the train?
Does it wake you as it sweeps
­.. its coal-filled path
…. around the Mon?

…… 49 cars
……….to each
………… engine

Had you noticed?

The ever-present Conrail symbol
.. smiles at me

…. 50 times,
…… 100 times,
………. or more.

Then, at night,
when the train rumbles
through a thick valley fog,
.. do you watch for the train
…. that you can only hear?

Nichole M. Dulin

Thought Exercises 

Reading’s for pleasure
and getting away
Fishing’s for solace
and passing Sundays.

Yoga’s for centering,
body and mind.
Running’s for heart,
endorphins to find.

Singing is for sharing,
your joys in one voice.
Prayers are for making
a positive choice.

Cleaning the house puts back
order again.
Baking creates one new thing
out of ten.

But what’s to be done
to find whimsy in life?
Is that search the answer
to curing your strife?

Or is whimsy alone the action
to bring life satisfaction.

Nichole M. Dulin

photo by Kristin Bartalo Rapp

Writer’s Block

It’s harder to write when you’re happy.
It’s harder to make joy sincere.
It was easy to draw from the fire.
There’s a thousand expressions for fear.

There’s always a song for the love lost.
There’s always more tissues for tears.
But there’s nothing to write when the pain stops,
And the love has been with you for years.


Nichole M. Dulin