Guest Post from Rox

Rox Nicholson here.  Expectations of Light host James von Hendy graciously issued an invitation to be a guest poet, and here I am.

James suggested I give a bit of an intro, so here goes:  About me – I have had the honor of being friends with my host and his wife for many years, but it’s only been over the past few that James and I have realized we each have our own passion for the written word.  I’m a third-generation Santa Cruz, California native with a variety of interests that happen to include poetry.  I have mostly used poetry since I was a child as a medium to try to express a moment in time – an image, a feeling, a reflection of something important to me just in that moment – while finding my way around structure, form and function.  So, I tend to write regularly, but simplistically and mostly for myself.  That’s been changing as I tack on a few years to my length of time here on the planet, and finally screw up enough courage to share a few pages with folks here and there.

I’ve never lived in a big city, and my current residence is in the foothills overlooking small, locally run family apple orchards and, in the distance past the valley, the Pacific Ocean.  I’m fortunate enough to be able to write (mostly at night) and enjoy the beauty of the natural world here.  I was staring out my open window a little before one in the morning this past Monday and immediately wrote this poem inspired by the sounds and the view.

Night Gazing

Gentle owl calls gently pierce
the thrumming gauze of lonely
cricket pleas. The feathery pair
calling out into the Black swoop
nearer, then fall longingly silent.
Pulsing Night drums inside my
blood as hot starlight trickles down,
cooling in the early cold breezes
of coming Autumn. Dribbling
moonlight falls into my eyes and
I, I smile, touched with mercurial
lunacy, grinning at the sound of owls.

Guest Poet: Rox Nicholson

Please welcome guest poet Rox Nicholson to Expectations of Light. Rox is an extraordinary auto/polydidact with an enormous range of interests, including poetry. Rox is almost singlehandedly responsible for reigniting my passion for writing poetry. In 2012 she posted on her Facebook page that April was National Poetry Month, that she was participating in the Writer’s Digest Poem-a-Day (PAD) challenge, and that she would be posting her poems to Notes in Facebook. I considered her announcement an invitation to join the fray, and since then there’s been no turning back.

During National Poetry Month this year, Rox took her prompts from a variety of sources, including the Writer’s Digest PAD challenge, and NaPoWriMo. She also challenged herself that regardless of the specific challenges she took on, each of her poems would dwell on themes and stories from mythologies around the world.

I invited Rox to contribute a poem of her choosing. Of Night Gazing, she says “I wrote this [poem] in the wee hours of Monday morning.”


Gray Matter

Gray Matter

“Remove one color from the world,” a friend
At dinner said to us. “What would it be,

And why?” I thought in a pinch of pink,
But someone spoke up for gray, a color drab

And lifeless. “Just think,” she said and brightly smiled.
“Men would have to wear color and wouldn’t that

Be grand?” But then I thought of loss, shadows
Vanishing into air, the infinite shades

Of light that play across the spectrum gone,
Subtlety and nuance merely black

And white, all else a riot of overwhelm,
The stark distinction of hard-edged primaries,

Vivid, bold, and hot. All shades of meaning lost.

The original version of this poem was first published on day 19 of the Writer’s Digest April Poem-a-Day Challenge ( It’s an honor to have it selected as one of the top ten poems of the day by judges Robert Lee Brewer (editor of the blog) and guest judge Thomas Lux.