Kathleen Goldbach

On the Garrigue in Southern France

Thyme grows wild and shrubby on the garrigue,
that rocky scrub of light and ruined bricks.
Our boots strike its stiffened, sun-dried sticks.
Its pungent smell, the shells (one time a league
or more beneath a sea), the shards are a dig
with tiers of buried years. My foot kicks
fossils of curled snails. A cricket clicks
in bits of villas fallen in fatigue.
Drilling a well, our friend dug up archaic
terra cotta handles and Roman tiles
like those in Musee Antique. We dine on snails
in wine, admire a recomposed mosaic:
a man's one laughing eye winks out through time,
disregarding the pieces lost in roots of thyme.


Light comes less
and less.

All is ice
and loss.

reaches the slot

at Stonehenge site,
then stops, sits,

before it slices
back, a tic

that told the Celts.
Low, it sets

like a colt
over a stile.

Frost silts
windowpanes, ices

roads and roofs. Snow clots
ways. Darkness closets

all, closes
every eye. Sole

night reigns, slits
each flame with sleet, lists

the griefs of winter's costs
that first new sunrise stole.


Amber beetles neglected to adapt in time
to keep their feet out of sap and got trapped in time.

A baby is born with cheese on her head, blood on
her bottom, wrinkled and folded and wrapped in time.

Sing it gold, strum it blue, dance it hot, drum it cool,
hum it madly out of tune, but clap it in time.

If Niagara Falls began making a sea
of the Mississippi, could it be capped in time?

Hiking the pungent hills of the dry chaparral,
we stopped to drink wine in rosemary, napped in thyme.

Poetry and music—are they really the same?
Each have the eagerness to be rapped in time.

She bent over her drawing, whisper-breathed, moved her
magic marker deftly—hand, heartbeat, rapt, in time.

First the squeal, then the skid, then the slow-motion roll-
over. He saw his whole life reel by—strapped in time.

Kathleen or Kathy, which one to be, formal or
free? When will she ever choose which is apt? In time.


Kathleen Goldbach earned a B.S. in Nursing from the University of Iowa in 1964 and a B.A. in Music from San Jose State University in 1987. In the late 1990's she lived in Germany for five years. Now she lives in Campbell, California, where she teaches and plays the piano as well as writes poems. Her poems have been published in The Vocabula Review, Eureka Literary Magazine, Poetalk, and an anthology, Learning to Heal: Reflections on Nursing School in Poetry and Prose.


Barbara Crooker
Alexandra Donovan
Jehanne Dubrow
Kathleen Goldbach
Colleen S. Harris
Brittany Hill
Katherine Hoerth
Lynne Knight
Jean L. Kreiling
Angie Macri
Carolyn Martin
Kathleen McClung (Featured Poet)
Mary Mercier
Ann Michael
Leslie Schultz
Myrna Stone
Jean Syed
Ann Christine Tabaka
Sally Thomas
Doris Watts
Joyce Wilson
Marly Youmans


The most recent addition to The Mezzo Cammin Women Poets Timeline is Phillis Wheatley by Kathryn Voorhees.

Kathleen McClung is the recipient of the 2019 Mezzo Cammin Scholarship to the Poetry by the Sea conference.

Megan Marlatt:Looking like large puppet heads, it was "anima", the root of "animation", that led me to the making of the big heads, (or "capgrossos" as they are called in Catalonia where I learned the craft.) Anima is the soul or what breathes life into a being and to animate an inanimate object, an artist must insert a little soul into it. However to bring attention to what is invisible, (the soul), I chose to mold its opposite in solid form: the persona, the ego, the big head, the mask. Nearly every culture across the globe has masks. They allow performers to climb into the skin of another being and witness the other's world from behind their eyes. While doing so, the mask erases all clues of the performer's age, gender, species or race. In this regard, I find them to be the most transformative and empathic of all human artifacts.

32 Poems
The Academy of American Poets
The Atlantic
The Christian Science Monitor
The Cortland Review
Favorite Poem Project
The Frost Place
The Iowa Review
Light Quarterly
Modern American Poetry
The Poem Tree
Poetry Daily
Poetry Society of America
Poets House
Raintown Review
String Poet
Valparaiso Poetry Review
Verse Daily
Women's Poetry Listserv
The Yale Review

Bread Loaf
Poetry by the Sea


Barefoot Muse Press
David Robert Books
David R. Godine Press
Graywolf Press
Headmistress Press
The Johns Hopkins University Press
Louisiana State University Press
Northwestern Univ Press
Ohio Univ Press
Persea Books
Red Hen Press
Texas Tech Univ Press
Tupelo Press
Univ of Akron Press
Univ of Arkansas Press
Univ of Illinois Press
Univ of Iowa Press
Waywiser Press
White Violet Press

City Lights
Grolier Poetry Bookshop
Joseph Fox Bookshop
Prairie Lights
Tattered Cover Bookstore

92nd Street Y
Literary Mothers
Poets & Writers