Category Archives: Photography

The Raging Storm | Poem


Sea Spray, Old Akko (Acre), Israel
Digital art from photos
©2017 Michael Dickel

Storm sea

Michael Dickel

The storm-startled sea splashed space-ward,
rose above the stone walls and metal rails,
appeared to touch the low-hung dark clouds,
before the white-foam spray collapsed into
shiny reflections of those gray behemoths—
sky-whales fallen to the flat earth below.

Even as a bit of sun and blue breaks the mood
at an acute angle, we seek the intimacy of couples,
private moments in poetry, the inward gaze that
turns its back to the thunder, wind, rain, hail and,
mostly, to the terror invoked by the raw power
so easily capable of destroying us and all we know.

Akko Waves

Old Akko (Acre), Israel
Photograph ©2016 Michael Dickel

We took our children to the Old Port of Tel Aviv
to watch the predicted high waves roll in. He
took his backpack into a store, and when ready,
pulled out an Uzi, walked into the street shooting—
in the same city, not so far, not too close. We turned
our backs and walked away as the border police went

door-to-door, knocking at each apartment entrance.
The news reports that they broke in if no one answered.
He gave them the excuse, and they opened those
intimate places absent their owners, absent reason
or folly, as though a power of nature eroding rock,
splashing against our resistance. I want this poem to send,

to turn,

to turn us into the spray, the wave, the sea.

Namal Waves

At the Namal (Old Port), Tel Aviv, Israel
Photograph ©2015 Michael Dickel


Filed under Digital Art, Photography, poems, Poetry, Politics, Terrorism, Writing

Amber Ekphrasis | Poem

A segment from the feathered tail of a dinosaur that lived 99 million years ago is preserved in amber. A Cretaceous-era ant and plant debris were also trapped in the resin. PHOTOGRAPH BY R.C. MCKELLAR, ROYAL SASKATCHEWAN MUSEUM

A segment from the feathered tail of a dinosaur that lived 99 million years ago is preserved in amber. A Cretaceous-era ant and plant debris were also trapped in the resin. PHOTOGRAPH BY R.C. MCKELLAR, ROYAL SASKATCHEWAN MUSEUM source


Michael Dickel

I am lost, awash in honey-light and stopped-time—
hardened, a fossil that once lived before tasting
sugary sap, becoming caught as it turned to stone.

Sunlight trapped millions of years ago has turned cold—
my desires mineralized with sublimation, my body a frozen
footprint sold at market, worn on a chain around a neck.

These words stick in their own sweet clock, less real than paint—
colorless, caught in a mind that believes itself full of pigment,
while truth remains a slippery canvas brushed from memory.





Drawing by Judith Appleton (The opening of her show at the Baaka Natural History Museum occasioned this poem.)

Drawing by Judith Appleton, used with permission, all rights reserved.
(The opening of her show at the Baaka Natural History Museum occasioned this poem.)


Filed under Art, Photography, Poetry

En Gedi (Poem)

En Gedi — Wadi David Photograph ©2015

En Gedi — Wadi David
Photograph ©2015

En Gedi

Even lizards hide from this scorched heat.
Tristram’s grackles pant in the shade of skeletal acacia.
Fan-tail ravens float on rising currents like vultures.

David hid from Saul in the strongholds of En Gedi;
along the wadi now named for him, waterfalls
drop warm water onto maidenhair ferns into tepid pools.

Any stippled shade provides shelter from the scathing sun
when hiding from midday heat or close pursuit:
Tristram and Iseult, David, seek shade, ferns, sparkling droplets.

We escape, fugitives from kings
into what little shade we find, wade
into green puddles of desert water,

for brief respite, solace,
a bright glimmer sliding down
an eroding rock face.

En Gedi Digital Art / Poem ©2014-2016 Michael Dickel

En Gedi
Digital Art / Poem
©2012-2016 Michael Dickel

I read En Gedi at the Interfaith Eco Poetry Slam in Jerusalem on 30 June, 2016, sponsored by the Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development. Here is a video of me reading it.

This poem originally appeared in Michael Dickel’s book, Midwest / Mid-East.
It also appears in The BeZine: Faith in Things Seen and Unseen here.



Filed under Digital Art, Photography, Poetry

But alive | poem

But alive

You want to sleep—but across the tundra,
or perhaps desert hard scrabble. The time
change lags behind and no one wants to
fund you, not even you. So why not rock
the float, find some interest to squeeze
into your pocket and be on your way—

unyielding to the circumspect payment,
unwilling to produce commodification,
just glyphs, morphemes, words—

until you arrive without a passport
or decoder ring and you wonder
what happened to fit in, let alone
sixty-one candles burning down
the house, the barn dancing its
way to your grave, and you still

practicing for the day the music
cried? The candles barely light
the dark moodiness that covers you.

Surround surrender and give it
a respectable coat of paint in some
fashionable color that we all like
and about which we wish someone
would recognize its unique place
in our iconoclastic creative genius.

Happy birthday. Happy. Birth. Day.
I wish you, my son, an uncommonly
pleasant brit mila, ceremonial

contract, lease on life-blood,
infinite bondage to principles
long forgotten but upheld by
certain economic theories.
Why would we depart from
these familiar formalities

without considering at least
one more possible outcome
and rejecting them all except

freedom, which has no income
and leaves you broken upon
all pensioned shores. But alive.

But alive, poem by Michael Dickel, self-portrait age 61, digital art from photographs

Self-portrait age 61 ©2016 Michael Dickel Digital art from photographs


Filed under Art, Digital Art, Photography, poems, Poetry, Writing

Patreon Launch!

Well, I’m excited! It’s time to start doing this!

I have been working on a Patreon Page. It is now up and ready, so…

It’s time to launch!

My regular followers know that I write. I make digital art. Often, I combine my words and art. I have this blog, where I post my work. Several of you regularly read my posts, like them, add comments. Thank you!

I also publish my work in journals (online and print—over 150 published works), I have three books of poetry (one eBook, two print) and a fourth (print) book coming, this one hybrid flash-poetry and flash fiction. Many of you have also followed links I post to the online publications, some have even bought my books. Thank you!

Become a supporter now!

And I’m asking now for your financial support, so I can keep doing this. I want to:

  • Re-design this blog and move it to its own server (rented space)
  • Write, make art, write, make art… you get the idea.

Creating is my life. Maybe I should get out more, but really, it’s what I love to do. Or as Otto Korekt sometimes has it, what I live to do!

So, please visit my Patreon Page and add your financial support today!

There are Rewards!

  • Signed copies of War Surrounds Us for one level of support
  • Advanced, signed copies of my next book, The Palm Reading after The Toad’s Garden, for another level of support
  • Both for an even higher level of support

I have Goals!

  • Include supporters in some of my creative work
  • New, Premium Theme for my blog design
  • Move the blog from free WordPress to its own server

You can Participate!

  • Any amount you wish (this is for ongoing support, so keep it affordable—you are asked to pay the pledge for each new work I post)
  • Opt in or out as you can afford it
  • I will be giving Patreon Patrons opportunities other don’t have.

Today, I launch! This is it!

Come join the fun!!!


(P.S. Did you notice the Patreon button under Support | Fragments, in the right column? You can just click on that, too!)

(P.P.S. What I am not doing: I am not charging for my work, other than a few premiums for Patreon Patrons as a thank you. My blog will continue, and it will continue to be free. In fact, I should be posting even more if I get enough financial help!  If I reach the level of support that I think could pay for moving my blog from the free WordPress, the ads that sometime appear on the bottom would go—and the Amazon ads in the side column, too. If you can’t afford to or don’t want to pay to support my work, you would still be welcome here at all times, and my work would still wait for you to read it. I hope that you will support me, but I do not want to coerce anybody. Of course, I will still be trying to sell my books.)

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Filed under Art, Digital Art, Patreon, Photography, poems, Poetry, Support this Blog, Writing

Blue Notes (collage)

Blue Notes Collage Poem Printed in The Best of Northlight @1990 Digital Art and Poem collage @2011 Michael Dickel

Blue Notes

Been there:

Michigan shore,



sax whispers against
the breeze:

city, Chicago.

Blue Notes Collage
Poem Printed in The Best of Northlight ©1990
Digital Art and Poem collage
©2011 Michael Dickel


Poetry Month 2016 | Fragments of Michael Dickel

Water Poems (a poem)
Flowstone Time (a poem)
SNR—Hybrid Word Dance
Veiled Lady (a poem)
My Brand Here (Hybrid Flash)
Rosy Morn | Poem | Essay | Photographs
Blue Notes (collage | poem)
The BeZine April 2016 — Celebrating Poetry Month


Monday, 18 April, 2016 · 02:36

Rosy Morn | poem | essay | photographs

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Rosy Morn

Yellow-robed rose of the morning,
drops and drips on your yellow folds,
lit like a glorious fire, you sing
for the dawn-woken birds

—Michael Dickel

Rosy-fingered and saffron-robed

The past couple of days have seen off and on rain here in Jerusalem. Often the sun emerges between light showers—all glows and shines in those moments. I caught a picture of a rainbow with my iPhone Tuesday, along with some lovely roses covered in rain drops. This morning, as I entered my studio, the roses massed between the parking area and the sidewalk held chirping birds, flitting about, possibly drinking water drops from the leaves and petals. A few more photos with my iPhone inspired a short line for each, a sort of poem that I revised into “Rosy Morn.”

Saffron Dawn

and saffron-robed
dawn embody themselves
in the rose bud opening.

—Michael Dickel

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“Rosy morn” and ‘rosy morning’ appear in many poems, usually referring to the pink to red flush of the Eastern sky. The Greeks often described Eos, the dawn goddess, as rosy-fingered (also rosy-forearmed), so Homer used the epithet “rosy-fingered dawn” (which fit his meter) to describe the dawn:

…when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared they sailed… (Iliad I:487)

…when rosy-fingered Dawn glows fair… (Iliad IX:712)

Next day, when rosy-fingered Dawn appeared, the people gathered at glorious Hector’s pyre.(Iliad XXIV:778)

The roses I focused my lens on this morning shone yellow, not red. Fortunately, Homer and the Greeks dressed Eos in saffron robes as well:

“As Dawn prepared to spread her saffron mantle over the land…” (Iliad VIII:1).

As Dawn, in saffron robes, rose from the stream of Ocean, bringing light to gods and men…(Ilian XIX:1)

At the hour when the Morning Star rises, heralding the new day, and in his wake saffron-robed Dawn spreads light on the waves, the fire died down and the flames ceased. (Iliad XXIII:194 title=”Homer’s Iliad xxiii:194 and more…”)

As saffron-robed Dawn lit the wide earth, they reached the ford of eddying Xanthus… (Iliad XXIV:678)

Here for your poetry pleasure, you can read below (follow continuation link)—browse and listen to some less saffron-robed and more rosy-fingered delights on this rosy morning—from poetry quotes to songs (both written and sung).

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Filed under Art, Experimental writing, Hybrid, Photography, poems, Poetry