sensory detail

All posts tagged sensory detail

Fishing, 1945

Published April 26, 2018 by kdorholt


This picture of my cousins (Alfred and John, I think) fishing with Grandpa Karason sits in my bathroom. It was a tradition Grandpa shared with his grandson’s, not me, so the photo holds an element of mystery and wonder. Today’s poem of five senses gave me the chance to write some of what I imagine.

The boys knew fishing with Grandpa.
The summer, simple Sundays
(after morning Mass then
scrambled eggs seasoned slightly
with pepper and ketchup)
landscaped with the lake
lapping shore in sure beats, lazy
but boldly beckoning belly bubbles
and tastebud tinglings
brought on by bluegills’ scales
shining jewels in the sunlight
like fish wore rhinestones
instead of wicked rough ridges
to be skinned off later
in harsh sure scrapes
of homemade, bone-handled
filet knife into waiting rusting bucket
balanced by the backdoor.
The intermingling of cattails,
earthworms wriggling in
Grandma’s dank garden dirt—
dug up in the dewed dawn—
and warm worn valise leather
all wafting waves of welcome
as both boys awaited
slight nudge of nibble
then submerged bite on languid line
leading from bumpy bamboo pole.
When the red and white bobber
wonderfully bounced in bits enough—
inviting their just-so jerk—
a mere wink of movement
in unquestionable capture.
And the patriarch’s
pat of praise on their back—
a papal blessing of pride.
A perfect catch!


K. Dorholt
4/26/18 NaPoWriMo 2018


Sweetness (NaPoWriMo 2018–4/1)

Published April 1, 2018 by kdorholt

Today begins National Poetry Month! Although I don’t know if I’ll write a poem a day this year, I wanted to be sure to respond to today’s prompt which ,actually included two,: April 1, 2018 NaPoWriMo poem prompt— write a love letter to a object from childhood. Write a poem based on a secret pleasure. Since it’s Easter, I wrote to my Easter basket in the limited time I had. I thought the topic fit both prompts. It’s sappy, I know. It’s a playful love letter. (Rough draft)




My only mine!
Senses still savor
Your sweet moments . . .

Ever faithful,
You would wait
In silent offering

Never wanting,
Always giving
Sacred, select secrets . . .

Each discovery
Divine, holy holiday
Celebrated, sanctified

On sight of you,
Passionate pulses
Sparkled my spirit . . .

Spring’s bright
Colors echoing
Cornucopias of joy

Hands holding you,
In nascent needing
While heart confettied . . .

Tender tulip petals
Tumbling, swirlingsens
Surrounding my soul

Easter basket,
White and wicker
My magic memory . . .

This love letter,
My thanks to you
Saccharine may be!


Saints and Martyrs: Once Upon a Time (Badge Book 2015 “Off-the-Shelf” Found Poem 2)

Published November 8, 2017 by kdorholt

Off the Shelf 2

Saints and Martyrs: Once Upon a Time

The morning began
with celebration
to mothers everywhere
at the parochial school
each boy (angels
since the dawn of time)
crossed the ancient
archway to manhood
in his heart
singing songs
with his silver tongue
in their arms
a rose and
a tissue packet
for each mom

In the silent church
the resident atheist
an elegant woman
clad in a glamorous
fox fur coat
long flaxen hair
six inches below the shoulder
built golden images
with her tears
and longed for
a chivalrous father
a deep devotion
a burning love
a spontaneous life

The Whole Idea Is to Make Your Mouth Water, Really (Badge Book 2015 “Order’s Up” Found Poem)

Published November 8, 2017 by kdorholt

For the “Order’s Up” found poem, we were challenged to visit a local restaurant, bar or coffee shop and snag a copy of the menu, and write a poem using only words and phrases found on the menu.

Our canvas
juicy, just
a stone’s throw
from heaven,
a patio pergola
shade letting in
the skies
plenty comfortable,
water running
from rocks
in winter
Christmas lights




Source: Parkside 23 Restaurant Menu. Brookfield, WI

Celebrating Autumn

Published October 7, 2017 by kdorholt

The trees brilliant–
burnished crimson, rust,
and varied yellow hues
lit by harvest sun.
Leaves rustled by the
crisp, cleansing air.
Eventually drifting
like monarchs to
the ground
forming mounds of
nature’s autumn jewels.
A generous gift,
this crescendo
of seasons. Yes!

No! My soul cries–
Decay smothers me,
bombarding my eyes
with beguiling beauty
Blood red and
jaundiced yellow abound.
Leaves withered with
blight-brown blotches
blown by remorseless
whorls of whining wind.
A season of cynically
seductive scenes.
A cataclysmic caution:
Death’s deceiving decimation.

All Wrong

Published September 29, 2017 by kdorholt

*I wrote this poem after I received a pneumonia shot and was in a fog of hurt and reaction to it. I was reminded of the times I’ve had bad reactions to prescriptions. I can remember one time in particular when I was sitting in our upstairs hallway feeling like the skin on my body had come loose and was rearranging itself. I told my husband that I understood why some young people commit suicide because they can’t abide a reaction prescribed by an authority and think that this is their life sentence. As an adult, I knew, I could get through the night, however horrible, and be prescribed something else the next day. Many young people haven’t grasped that yet.

All wrong

A taste
of rusted metal
and white vinegar

A smell
of unsuspected sickness
and overripe cherries

My vision
blurred like looking
through poured motor oil

His voice
distorted like commands
from a badge and bullhorn

A feeling
casting the sense of me
inside and out at once

All wrong
Never again
Too painful for purgatory

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