Doylestown: Poetry Night

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Hello Poets, Join us for Poetry Night on April 18 and enjoy the poetry of Cheryl Baldi followed by an Open Mic! Poets, lift your voices!

About Cheryl Baldi

Cheryl Baldi is a graduate of the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers, a former Bucks County Poet Laureate, and a finalist for the Robert Fraser Award for Poetry. Her work has appeared widely in journals, including Bitter Oleander, for which she was a finalist in the 2006 Francis Locke Memorial Award and Salamander, which nominated her work in 2008 for the Best New Poets anthology. She served on the faculty of Bucks County Community College for 25 years teaching writing and literature, has worked as a free-lance editor, and served as co-facilitator for community based workshops exploring women’s lives through literature. Her collection of poems, The Shapelessness of Water, evokes a coastal landscape that echoes the loss and love of four generations of family. She lives with her husband in Bucks County, Pennsylvania.  


The wildness here set her free:
always wind, always the waves’
refusal to hold their shape.

She taught me to find the deep
channels that rush from the shoreline,
emptying out into the larger sea.

In rough water one can ride them
straight through the breakers, a secret
passage to another world

where one becomes part
of something larger, endless
sweep of blue sky, endless sea

beneath which swells
life unknown, and dangerous,
and thriving.


To heal my heart I’m to walk
each day, but this morning,
third day of a land breeze,
it’s hot. Still, I set out,
tide low, and by the water’s edge
where a fog unfolds, find it’s cold.
Following the scrap line
littered with broken shells,
past the stone jetty, I walk,
fog so dense I no longer see
the dunes or houses anchored just beyond,
only the shadow of an early swimmer
in shore break and a gull picking
at a clump of decaying mussels.
I can’t tell if the sky is blue
or black any better than I can tell
whether or not I still love you,
but the water and sky suddenly darken
so I turn back, too far from home
if a storm hits, and disappear
into a wall of fog, my life
as unfamiliar as this stretch of beach
I walk every day.


My daughter visits.
We eat late, then read,

the night air still,
but in the quiet, suddenly

she stirs, a puzzled look:
specks of silver,

like dust floating in the air.
We look closer.

Tiny tinseled threads,
glittering in the lamp’s light,

unroll from the beams,
as the room fills

with the gauzy lacework
of newborn webs.

My daughter, on her feet,
leans into the light.

Oh, she says.
And again, Oh,

which is all I can say
each time I see her face.

POETRY NIGHT / 3rd Thursday of the Month / 6:30 pm at Doylestown Bookshop / Featured Poet followed by Open Mic.