Review & Reflection: I Like a Girl Who Reads

“So, what do you go for in a girl?”
He crows, lifting a lager to his lips
Gestures where his mate sits
Downs his glass
“He prefers tits
I prefer ass.
What do you go for in a girl?”

I don’t feel comfortable
The air left the room a long time ago
All eyes are on me
Well, if you must know

I want a girl who reads.

This is the beginning of a slam poem by Mark Grist entitled “Girls Who Read”, the video of which on YouTube has garnered over three million views. A friend of mine posted this video on Facebook this morning and I had never heard of it before, much less watched it. As I watched the video and Grist went through how he loves a girl who reads and who “uses the added vocabulary/She gleans from novels and poetry/To hold lively conversation/In a range of social situations”, I felt my heart warm and that familiar burning behind my eyes that tells me I’m going to cry.

I know that girls who read are appreciated but an homage like this is a fabulous reminder that made me feel wonderful. I read compulsively, you know that. I love a story that flows, that challenges, learning new vocabulary, descriptions, and falling in love with the characters I find in novels. In junior high, I was teased pretty mercilessly by the other kids in my small eight-grade classroom. They didn’t understand why I read the books I did or why I read books at all. I did my best to ignore them but the truth was that it hurt, a lot. When I got to college, I found an outlet and use for my voracious reading as an English Education major/Literature minor. In graduate school, I wrote my Master’s thesis over some of my favorite short stories, even. And I found a man who loved me for my imagination, for my love of reading. The first significant amount of time that we spent together was spent discussing Tolkien and poetry over coffee.

So this poem/video meant a great deal to me today. Five stars! Well done, Mark Grist, and thank you!

NaBloPoMo Day 23: Poetic Memories

My husband sent me this the other day with a note asking, “Remember those times I kissed you goodnight?” Indeed, those kisses would knock me for a loop. I barely remembered to get off the elevator at my floor the first night we kissed. ❤


Just Because
by Natalie Dorsch

I walked up the door,
shut the stairs,
said my shoes,
took off my prayers,
turned off my bed,
got into the light,
all because
you kissed me goodnight.

NaBloPoMo Day 13: When I Was Young and Foolish

For Betsy:

When I was young and foolish,

I gave my heart away.

I gave it with no thought

Of what would come or may.

Whe’er my heart led,

That was where I’d go.

One string here, one string there,

Loving that secret glow.

Until all those strings

A large knot became.

My touch became hurt,

My presence a stab of pain.

When I was young and foolish,

I gave my heart away

With no thought to who would get it

Or what they got from me.

Now there are scars

Here and there,

And I must be more careful

With how I choose to share.

For you cannot give your heart away

Without taking someone else’s.

And that is a treasure that

Must needs be cherished.

So be careful

With the heart you’re given,

Because sins against love

Are often the hardest shriven.

NaBloPoMo Day 2: Wedding Poetry

This is a poem that I wrote for a friend’s wedding recently, to sit next to the wishing tree that they had at their reception.

Stars above wheel and burn,

Turning their dome above Earth’s cradle.

Sparkles on every branch, beloved memories.

See the wishing tree that glimmers, points of wisp light

Blessings, born of tender heartstrings and gossamer dreams.

From roots of love and truth

Shoot blossoms of happiness.

Planting seeds of joy,  fruits of friendship.

Rediscovered Poems – found these in an old notebook at work


Small, intense, passionate, friendly

Sibling of two angels

Lover of Ben, books, and music

Who feels tired, busy, challenged

Who needs a vacation, new sights, reading time

Who gives friendship, advice, time

Who fears loss, hurting people, heights

Who would like to see New Zealand, Japan, and my child’s face


Intense Gold

I think sometimes that I’m the liver of a dream.

I feel wrapped in warm gold, strong, and soft.

My hands grip the softest intensity.

It’s like trying to hold water in a river.

Soft and strong, gentle and intense,

washing away and forming, all these things at the

very same time I feel and it’s like being hit with a bolt of lightning.

I feel safe and protected,

I wrap it around me like a soft fur coat.

I wish to keep it all my life long.

It’s comfort, like a cat purring on my lap.

I breathe and believe and I know I am blessed.

Can such things be real, everlasting, and true?

They must be, smelling like lilac and yellow sunshine.

It’s as fresh each time as a cool breeze.

I want to shout and scream so everyone will know.

All I know is I want to stay here, wrapped in warm, intense gold.

A Nonsuch Poet – July 6, 2010

I’m not a poet, never really have been. I have written a handful of poems in my lifetime, usually when I’m very emotional. They are extremely rough as far as meter and form, really just emotions poured out on paper. They give voice to my anger, my pain, my hope, my desire.

Ben is the poet. He is the one in love with meter, rhyme, form, all the bits and pieces of poetry. He is skilled and always willing to challenge himself to new meter and form, and I admired him for that.

I am much more comfortable writing descriptions of others, creative nonfiction, I suppose. I love writing fiction, yes, but I think I’ve been more inclined to the creative nonfiction lately, no? In any case, here are a few of my poems.

Farewell to the Sea

By Melissa Gibson

5/29/06 – Memorial Day – To my Aunt and Grandfather

When you left, I sang for you.

I sang to the sea.

I couldn’t touch you,

Couldn’t hug you to say farewell.

So I said it to the sea.

My dirge was not my own

But it was intended for you.

Alone. Apart. I sang.

Others could not understand.

But I did not do it for them.

I turned to the sea, always alive.

And I sang to it.

Because I never got to say goodbye.

Composed on Friday, Oct. 4, 2002

I saw the stars tonight.
I know others have said it
With words more beautiful than mine.
But, in it, I find something precious,
Something beautiful, something divine.
I know this world isn’t some
Miscellaneous ball in space.
I know that Someone is watching,
Loving me in that most beautiful place.
When all the world is busily humming,
With no time for me.
I know I can look up at the sky,
And find comfort in what I see.
I saw the stars tonight.

Empty Holes

Fall 2004

I wish there was a hole where my heart is.
A hole, big and empty.
Empty holes don’t hurt.
They don’t grow sad and despair.
Empty holes don’t make mistakes.
They don’t hurt others.
They just sit there, open to receive.
Whether someone stumbles in
Or jumps in.
Either way, it’s there.
Empty holes can’t feel the exquisiteness of joy,
Only to have it infringed upon and destroyed.
Empty holes can’t have strings broken, torn away.
Empty holes can’t lash out,
Even without meaning to.
In short,
Empty holes don’t feel.

But I do.

Sleeping in Vain

Spring 2004

I waited for Sleep,
But Sleep never came.
No fading from reality,
No black and red train
To bear me away
To parts unknown.
To the place where Dreams stay,
Where they play under skies
Of parchment and in seas of rainbow.
I would be a Visitor,
Curiosity my guise.
I’d take my little ragdoll,
The one Mom gave me,
With the red dress and
Sewn-on hat. She
Is my one link back
To a world steeped
Hour upon hour in nighttime black.
But Sleep never came.

Musings of a Warrior

Jan, 13, 2005

Give me a bow and let me shoot or a sword and let me fight.
Do not lock me away in a room for my own protection.
Let me battle those who attack me and not only let others fight for me.
Let me face my enemy and stand beneath his battering; let him know who he attacks.
Let me ply the skill you have so painstakingly taught me and let me follow the prayers you have prayed for me.
Let silk and steel be one, satin and fire, iron and velvet.
Let me bind my breast and heft my shield and blade.
Let me bear the marks of my King and Lord upon my skin.
Let my voice that has only sung songs, now raise itself in a cry of courage.
If you love me, then let me go.
Let me do battle beside you, stand by your side.
Let me be not only the princess but the warrior as well.