Bill Gholson | Blue

Deep in the night I sometimes
awaken. The tension in the water’s
surface concentric. I am floating
above the water, playing with flying,
playing with joy, playing with joy
to leave the world for a time. And
waking. The abandonment of terror
on a slobbered mouth. When we sleep
well, we say “deeply.” I would add,
“deeply with drool.”

I have never been a very good
student. Like a feral cat my mind
strays. Have you seen them clinging?
The starfish on the mussels that cling
to the volcanic rock? Then you must
have heard and felt the way the sea
was taking the day off, pounding the
rock, your center like jelly, a dissection,
your lumen as dark as midnight.

When I bled out I thought I would
miss everything. Then I realized
everything, “everything, yes”.
Then blue. A dome of blue above
my head, the concentric rings,
blue, too. To be specific about
what I will not give up–the blue
of me and you.


Bill Gholson is a Professor at Southern Oregon University and a previous high school English teacher. About three years ago, he suffered an unexpected physical trauma. After recovery, he began to write poetry as a way of understanding his illness. His body felt the need to speak in a new language. He now writes about the body, teaching and learning and perception. He lives in Ashland, Oregon with his wife Jane, his dog Walter and two cats, Tupelo and Pearl