The Dancing Fish

dancing fish

As you know, during the ocean’s day,
schools of fish swim and play.
When the sun lowers to the west,
most of them slowers to rest.
As the day switches to night,
a lighthouse switches on its light,
and Jonah swims to the surface
for fun of a different purpose.
He inhales deep, holds it in,
leaps from the water with a spin,
then he dances on waves
that become the stage he craves.
Wearing a top hat,
twirling a cane like an acrobat,
Jonah tap dances on fins,
jitterbugs with wide grins.
The lighthouse’s moving beam
makes a spotlight supreme
that Jonah follows extra quicks
while performing his tricks.
Jonah puts on a good show,
seen not just by the fish below,
also by Bob the lighthouse keeper,
with his astounded peepers.
Bob told people of the dancing fish,
but they said, “Oh sploshy splish,
you were just dreaming.
Your imagination was gleaming.
Fish do no such thing,
just like they don’t sing.”

What about you, dear reader?
Of frolicking fish, are you a believer?

Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

Your Oar


Which to pick?
Your or you’re?
But then,
the choice
can be such a bore.

Better to choose
your oar
when you’re paddling your canoe upstream,
and you better paddle extra quick
when you’re chased by the wild boar
who, surprisingly and inexplicably,
leaped onto a Jet Ski
which, presumably,
he had kept hidden in the bushes
for this purpose of chasing his prey.


Copyright © 2020 Dave Williams. Included in my book, The Dancing Fish.

Dancing Fish Contest

Announcing The Dancing Fish Contest!

If you like reading playful poems with illustrations, this is your chance to win a book of them! I’m celebrating the publication of my latest poetry book, The Dancing Fish, with a FUN CONTEST where I’ll be giving away 6 signed paperback copies.

Entering is EASY! Put on your creative hat and draw an underwater creature, then post an image of it on Twitter or Instagram. Draw a swordfish or shark, an octopus or jellyfish. The medium is up to you: pencil, paint, or digital artwork. And the style is up to you: silly or serious, realistic or abstract.

Tag your post with #DancingFishContest and include me, @dwilliamswriter, to be sure that I see your post. You don’t have to follow my Twitter or Instagram account to enter the contest, but jump on board if you like!

Some questions you might have buzzing in your brain:

When will this groovy contest start and end?
The contest starts today (Friday, January 15, 2021) and ends on midnight (U.S. eastern time zone) Friday, January 29th.

How are the winners chosen?
At random. Here’s how it’s going to play out: As the entries come in, I will write your name on a note and put it in a bowl. On Saturday, January 30, each of my two daughters will cover their eyes and pick out three names. I’ll announce the winning entries on my Twitter and Instagram pages.

Can I enter multiple times?
Yes. So the more drawings you post, the more notes with your name will be placed in the bowl.

Is there an age restriction to enter?
Nope. If you’re 1 year old and finger-paint a fish on paper, then a parent or guardian can upload an image of the artwork. (By the way, if you’re 1 year old, congrats on being able to read this!)

I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter?
You bet! It would be neat to see foreign entries. I will ship books to international winners.

How will entrants know if they’ve won?
I will contact the winners through direct message on Twitter or Instagram, wherever they posted their image. I will ask for your name and address, so I can sign and send the book to you. The books will be shipped by USPS media mail. If you don’t hear from me on January 30, you can figure that you haven’t won.

I’m looking forward to seeing your artwork of underwater creatures!

Book Review: Gothic Epistle Romantica

cover for Gothic Epistle Romantica

Gothic Epistle Romantica: Poetry Inspired By Undying Love by Vaz Anzai

While reading this book, I thought of Edgar Allan Poe’s poems about a departed lover, as well as the myth of Orpheus, who traveled to the Underworld to bring back his departed wife, Eurydice.

This is not to say that Vaz Anzai’s book is a copy of Poe’s poems. Nope. Anzai weaves a distinctive song of his own. The characters in these poems reach out for each other, beyond death, in a longing to reconnect and have what they once had. They are gifted with a time to “relive some of our most precious memories together.” Amid the ache of loss, the lovers have a moment of celebration, champagne and rapture.

Dark beauty fills the poems of this book, a sad beauty of the ache after a loved one is gone. Broken hearts and broken souls. Creativity can pour out from joy, but also from pain. This poetry is evidence of that. The lines charged with the love that desires to keep loving. And striking imagery, too. My favorite was the “room of heavy rain,” a scenario rich with detail and emotion. The same can be said of these poems, heavy with longing.


In this blurry busy world
she has candles
to help her cope
books to enter other worlds
characters become friends
she prays for them
to overcome struggles
when they do,
hope flickers
that she can do the same

Alien Landscape

i open the door
to an alien landscape
this used to be my house
but everything familiar
is gone
not just a different sofa,
a different staircase
a man and woman
enter from the kitchen
he asks, “who are you?”
i ask the same of them
and we can only stare
at each other


They called you
a witch
a heathen

They desired to
destroy you

Thankfully you escaped
So you can spell more

They’re scared of
your power with words
an enchanting poetess
who cracks
our homemade defenses
to confront
emotions underneath