Joseph V. Danoski

The March Selected Poet is Joseph V. Danoski

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Somewhere in the city,
Darkness was a-creeping
The streets of early evening
And turning into night.

Deep within the woodwork,
Something bad was answering
An ancient call of nature
And coming back to life.

Sleepers were awakened
From long hibernations,
Breaking through the icing
Of a welcome winter thaw.

Children, they were ringing
In the streets of the city;
Their voices in the twilight,
Through weather cold and raw.

Seedlings were awaiting
Springtime germination;
The little hints and whispers
Of fingers pushing through.

People in the spirit
Of the Vernal Equinox;
Amid the stars and planets
The world was turning, too.

Somewhere in the city
Someone had awakened;
The lights of living flickering
And Death was born anew.

Peepers, they were singing
In the fields all evening,
And deep within the woodlands
The worm was turning, too.


She left me in an empty dimension,
With no way back to my happy past.
She left me with a growing dementia.
How much longer can a bad dream last?

By what miracle or magic black
Could I ever hope to bring her back?

I lost her at a big intersection,
Watched her disappear into the crowd.
I lost her at some busy convention;
Saw her drift like mist into a cloud.

It hit me in my midwinter crisis,
Somewhere between the mountains
And town.
It hit me when I was indecisive—
Nervous breakup leading to breakdown.

My home is now a house of detention,
And I feel I’ve fallen through the cracks.
My home is just a rut of retention,
I’m a broken record skipping tracks.

And what artistry or alchemy
Would ever return my girl to me?

I’m living in this wintery dimension,
With warm memories of summers past.
I’m living with a growing dementia.
How much longer can this bad dream last?


The cicadas have all gone silent now,
The hostas have had their final bow;
Their leaves lying wilted on the ground,
Each flower bed, a burial mound.

The autumn asters have come and gone,
Their colors lost in the frost of dawn.
The garden has had its harvest day,
Yesterday the yard was put away.

It was a late spring, and an early fall;
Between them, not much summer at all.

I remember the first June bug in May,
Then the day that Mary came to stay;
Although her visit was all too brief—
A butterfly lighting on a leaf.

She brought color to my world of gray,
And some life into this slow decay.
It seems like that was just yesterday;
Now the yard is raked and put away.

I saw the trees bud, and the leaves fall;
Between them, something I can’t recall.

Joseph V. Danoski lives happily on the “plains of his imagination” in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. He published his first book of poems, Shock Waves: Letters from the Edge, back in 1987, under his old pen name, Jonathan Konrad. This book is still being sold in local bookstores, and has been reviewed favorably a number of times.  

Through the years, Joseph has had quite a few of his poems published in the city’s newspaper, The Berlin Reporter, where for a time he had a byline in its poetry corner. In 1997 he was asked by the Chamber of commerce to write something appropriate for the Berlin Centennial Celebration. After researching the history of the area and the paper-making industry, he wrote a poem titled, The City Built from Trees, which he was subsequently invited to read at City Hall.

Joseph is a writer of letters and essays on diverse subjects, with strong opinions on many topics; but first and foremost, a poet of horror, science fiction and fantasy. His other activities include playing music, gardening, and stargazing. Recent publications include Penny Dreadful, The Nocturnal Lyric, Psychopoetica (U.K.) Hadrosaur Tales, The Quest (India), Black Petals, Yellow Mama, Sanitarium Magazine, and The Horror Zine.