Literary Yard

Search for meaning

‘Fear’s Playground’ and other poems

By: Peter J. Dellolio

Fear’s Playground



wood cart

loud rolling


black doors bang after

red power lever pulled

as the journey

     begins the zigzag


            sharp stops and

                            turns each

vision fixed an illuminated


             gorilla spiders dissection

table electric

            chair scorpions guillotine

                        screams from the


                        little girls missing

                                           most of it

                        eyes half-open

                        finally safety of

daylight when

the cart smacks against

                the exit

                bored operator

                lifting a sandwich

to his lips

yanks the switch

again for the

next descent

into fear’s playground.


It’s the Hand Trembling     

            It’s the hand


            speaking its gestural language

            she’s an old

            Russian woman her clothes

            exude the lingering odors

                        of bass and salmon


husband used to fish his gaff stands unwashed in the closet

            without words

            you still know that

            she’s alone

            she misses his pronounced

step his bulk his smell his

            return from the bay with

            a new catch and her

            hand fumbles across the

bar of the shopping cart as her

            head shakes back and forth

            a movement that says

            Im alone I have no

            choice now I can hear

            my own footsteps but

            I cant hear

            his voice and the

            elevator descends to the

            ground floor she’ll

            stay until it



            basement with the little ramp for her cart she still

            has to

            shop on the


            avenue where she’s frightened by the noise.


Sand Ghost


                                                ghost column

                                                vertical tilting


                                                heading across the

                                                beach windy

                                                             burst a fat

                                                rainbow spinning

                                                backwards they’re

            trying to retrieve the

                         umbrella as this

                         spiraling beige

                         phantom speeds



After the Wave         

                        After the wave

                        smashes down your

                        head pops out of the

                        hissing salty shampoo

                        of foamy glistening


                            diamond light

                            surrounds you

                           a cocktail of lather

                           of motion coughed out

                        by the wave

a mouth of

                        glitter flesh

                        reaching up

                        falling forward

spilling its jewelry all around





What is Invisible

                        What is invisible


                        the ball it’s almost dusk

                        this little shadow clogged yard

                        can’t be more than

                        a few feet

                        the chubby boy is pitching


                        candy-striped T-shirt he throws in

                        colored twilight

                        strike three!

                        with a little stick


                        will be washed by


                        mother’s hands later

                        a branch!

the other boy’s bat contradicts

                              the call because

      this must be a                   

      home run how

                          can any logical

      adult possibly measure

      the miraculous

              imaginings of



Ripple March                       

                        Bay water silent calm

                                    flow it’s gentle near

                                    dusk it’s slow so

                                    easy wavelets so

                                                tiny from winds

                                                little bunches

                                    of pegs swarm forward

                                    soldiers of

                                    water in columns moving

                                                            in rows of

                                    patterns in

                                                     angles like sticks

                                    cluster together breeze

                                                            nudged ahead these

ripples are so quiet as

they march to the wind

that makes their form



Born 1956 New York City.  Went to Nazareth High School and New York University.  Graduated 1978: BA Cinema Studies; BFA Film Production.  Wrote and directed various short films, including James Joyce’s short story Counterparts which he adapted into a screenplay.  Counterparts was screened at national and international film festivals.  A freelance writer, Peter has published many 250-1000 word articles on the arts, film, dance, sculpture, architecture, and culture, as well as fiction, poetry, one-act plays, and critical essays on art, film, and photography.   Poetry collections “A Box Of Crazy Toys” published 2018 by Xenos Books/Chelsea Editions and “Bloodstream Is An Illusion Of Rubies Counting Fireplaces” published February 2023 by Cyberwit/Rochak Publishing.  He is working on a critical study of Alfred Hitchcock, Hitchcock’s Cinematic World: Shocks of Perception and the Collapse of the Rational.  Chapter excerpts have appeared in The Midwest Quarterly, Literature/Film Quarterly, Kinema, Flickhead, and North Dakota Quarterly since 2006.  His poetry and fiction have appeared in various literary magazines, including AntennaAero-Sun TimesBogus ReviewPen-Dec PressBoth Sides NowCross Cultural Communications/Bridging The Waters Volume II, and The Mascara Literary Review.  Dramatika Press published a volume of his one-act plays in 1983.  One of these, The Seeker, appeared in an issue of Collages & Bricolages.

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