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Cheryl Denise

Cheryl at hay bale

Cheryl Denise has two books of poetry, What’s in the Blood and I Saw God Dancing, both published by Cascadia Publishing. She has a spoken word poetry CD, Leaving Eden, available on She lives in the intentional community of Shepherds Field, in WV. The community raises a small flock of Jacob sheep and they sell wool blankets, yarn, and lambs. Visit her on facebook at Cheryl Denise, poet.


Recurring Dream

A thousand grey grasshoppers
carpet my front lawn.
I’m seven

alone by the evergreen
on the far edge of the grass
and no way to reach the front door.

A wet green stench rolls towards me,
robotic hind legs click against leathery wings.
Every blade a launching pad, a tiny trampoline.

Fabre’s Book of Insects says
The White-faced Decticus
is fond of biting

Like my ballet teacher
silver hair pulled tight as commandments
demanding perfect pirouettes.

Like Brad in the playground,
too old for grade school,
guarding the monkey bars.

If that grasshopper
gets hold of your finger
he can make the blood come.

Broad-faced and dull of intellect,
they cut the nerves so their prey can’t move—
and they won’t let me go home.

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