To Katherine

20ish girl with brown shoulder-length hair in a green tank top and gray sweater
my goddaughter, Katherine

I marvel at all that you are,
all that you are becoming,
as you go thru heartbreak
with a kindness that shouldn’t be possible
and a refusal to give up on life
as tempting as it seems:

You see the world
with hope and fear

Taking it on
thru pain and anxiety

You face your pain
with grace under pressure
despite all

Trudging onward
thru so much loss
despite her

Your huge heart
stitched together with hope
uncertain yet undeterred

purple copyright symbol 2016 Dorian Dorey

Katherine remained true to herself and has since found a someone who understands what love is, thereby understanding my Katherine. They seem marvelous and I look forward to meeting this singular proof that life not only goes on but improves.

To the New Year

Sunrise with sun rays shooting up from behind tree silhouettes

With each daybreak
a new start
cutting thru the darkness

With each small step
another milestone
creating yet more options

With every ending
a new beginning
turning failure into learning

With every effort
another goal faced
tending to our dreams

purple copyright symbol 2016 Dorian Dorey

Sunrise via pixnio

All The Best

birthday cake decorated with artist implements
“Bon Anniversaire, Ma Mère”

An ability to see beyond the pale,
Recognizing hope in the shadows,
Trusting first and foremost in love;
Questioning allows for discovery –
An independent view of the world,
Finding wonder in unlikely nooks,
Taking refuge in discovered beauty;
Aesthetic purpose is proven worthy.

Not simply to be sought but created,
Via means personal and miraculous,
Through more than possible alone;
More than creation from only within –
Not just given but allowed in as well,
Born both of intention and request,
Granted as journey and destination;
Nothing but children can encompass.

The innate art in all that is organic,
Exists as fact as well as fulfillment,
Internal naïveté becomes a choice;
With childlike wonder thus achieved –
The need to be and have a child met,
So an inherent wisdom is imparted,
For beauty infuses all said and seen;
Thus self-doubt may stand idly by.

All hesitance is ever more in check,
Seeking truth rather than reasons,
Knowing order exists despite chaos;
Choosing inspiration over defeat –
All is perceived with a loving heart,
Becoming more complete every day,
Fostering creations formed and found;
Artistry that goes beyond the page.

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

She’s described me as her alter-ego and she’s my inner compass; we’ve never had it easy but we’ve always had each other. Her love is not only unconditional but unwavering, and her acceptance is as complete as it is encouraging. With bravery summoned in shared nooks, and hope conjured from their many books, it was the two of us “against the world” and we’re still at it – finding our truest selves together. Persistent artist; consistent friend; insistent creative; her inherent appreciation of artistry in all its forms keeps me inspired and forever young:

“It takes time to grow young.”
— Pablo Picasso

“She finds happiness in whatever happiness I meet, she understands what I understand and why I understand it, she prays for me even when I pray for no one but myself, she sees all the beauty I tell her I see and delights in it through my eyes. That is my mother. She would give me the whole world if she could gather it in her arms. That is why she will never have the whole world in her arms; that is why she will always have the whole of my love.” — Philippos Aristotelous

All The Best (alles gute) by Ari Baker on deviantART

The Dorey Constant

DoreySignThe sign outside my grandparents’ home

I was your little shadow

Before reaching equity with Momma
Or recognizing my soul in Grandma
There was you

What could’ve been treated as tagging along
Used instead as a chance for me to belong
There with you

Anything done had fun to be found within
Nothing was mundane, especially when
There were two

You were my first best friend

Tasks as games, errands became adventures
Logic as puzzles, bedtime stories offered cures
Walks as archaeology, flies were fishing lures

I was your little brown eyes

Leaving me no doubt I was exceptional
While ensuring everyone felt special
That was you

Peacemaker who took everything in stride
Supportive, and confident without pride
That is you

Finding hope with a quiet determination
Knowing letting go may be the solution
That’s me too

You were my universal constant

purple copyright symbol 2014 Dorian Dorey

Being able to say “me too” when it comes to my grandparents reassures me that I’m part and parcel of their living legacy. Those two simple words keep me connected to them, and specifically remind me that Granddad loved “me too.” That deceptively simple phrase was how he responded to “I love you” when one of his girls called him at work. Although he was clearly just keeping things professional, there was a sense that he felt too deeply to risk getting personal. He warned me any time I cried that, if I continued, he’d join me. Seeing me cry was enough to make him cry, and not saying “love” at the office hinted at the real possibility his voice might crack if he let himself say it. He laid the foundation for the most important lesson Grandma taught me, that our choices also affect those who love us. My Granddad was the first father I ever knew, and the best man I could ever hope to know. He exemplified what it was to be a good man yet not by being a man’s man – veteran, engineer, and mountaineer that he was – but by being unabashedly accepting, caring, and creative. Don Dorey proved that real strength comes from within.

As a tomboy and his namesake, my connection to Granddad was strong. When talking to himself (which the best people do), he called himself Dorey and my nickname was Dori so those private dialogs always seemed to include me. We’d take on challenges together and “Get it right, Dorey” or answer the tough questions like “What’re you doing, Dorey?” Grandma was concerned I’d take it personally when he was frustrated too but I’d seen him sign his name, “GD Dorey,” often enough that it was clear who he meant when he swore to himself: “Goddamn Dorey.” Rather than teach me conceptual lessons of right and wrong, Granddad shared more relatable truths; cussing is a privilege earned with age, lying is only for Liar’s Dice, gambling is reserved for Solitaire, drinking is intended for meals or Sock It To Me Time and, like most things, is more enjoyable in moderation. With him, I learned a deeper appreciation for those around me. While Momma inspired me and Grandma reflected me, Granddad gave me a sense of place. As a Dorey, his Dori, I not only belonged but could share that feeling through the ready acceptance of others he personified. Without him, I’m disconnected from a universe he gave meaning to.

In memory of G[eorge]D[onald] Dorey, my G[od]D[amn] Granddad:
Don Dorey, you are missed and we are better for knowing you.
October 1919 – July 2014


Happy Mother’s Day!

bird soaring through the forest

“Hold fast to your dreams for, without them,
life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.”
— Langston Hughes

From Pooh Corner to poetry
With courage and coffee
Thru Art for art’s sake
She inspirited me

From Upstart Crow to unity
With trust and tea parties
Thru Truth for my sake
She inscribed her love

From Camp Nelson to chaos
With freedom and fantasy
Thru Faith for our sake
She inspires me still

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

I’m the happy result of an unlikely event, a planned teenage pregnancy. Unhappy with her life, my mum made a bold change; she married at 16 and had me a year later. Momma hadn’t found a better life but she had realized her dream of becoming a mother and her brave pursuit of something more gave us each other, and San Francisco. From that nontraditional beginning, through impromptu poetry readings to her own artistic endeavors, she raised me first and foremost to be creative. That gift is as important to me as her unconditional love and unwavering belief in me. Creativity as an end, not just a means, has enabled me to see possibilities beyond my limitations as a spoonie. Momma not only taught me to dream but to dream creatively.

Our mums bring us into being, may guide us as we grow, support us if we’re lucky, and befriend us if we’re ridiculously lucky. I’ve been ludicrously lucky but, then again, I started life as a dream come true – what a legacy!? Momma wonderfully captures our creative journey in her response to this poem, “We’ve both been through all kinds of chaos since Camp Nelson (playing at the creek!), Winnie the Pooh curtains, & huggable Eeyores – not to mention coffee & books at the Upstart Crow – but what we found there has brought us through the tough times, lit up our memories of the good times, & added the magic!!” She’s described me as her alter-ego and she’s my inner compass; my mum and I are more than compatible, we’re complementary.

White Bird Flying is a painting by my mum, Phyllis Dorey-Thiessen

Earth Day

purple flower

Green, living/alive
Seeking to thrive..

Nature seeks naught but need
No need to waste; waste not, want not

So much we can learn
Ideas taking seed

Using what’s needed
Sharing what’s not

Built-in recycling
Reuse revives

purple copyright symbol 2013 Dorian Dorey

selfie of Dorian Dorey in tank top with purple hair
I celebrated Earth Day in my own little way, as I do most holidays: the design on the tank is a tree too so that darling pin will likely stay a permanent companion. It was a free gift found at San Francisco’s annual Earth Day Festival. I also came away with far more paper flyers than makes sense for such an event. Thankfully, a lot of the paper was recycled but I’m hoping to see more information disseminated electronically in the future; sigh.

Farewell (for now)

G'ma and IGrandma & I; RIP, Peg Dorey

always too soon, even when right
time runs out despite our best denial
amidst feeling cheated, reason unable to reign
made incomplete by loss yet more complete for knowing her

purple copyright symbol 2009 Dorian Dorey

“We should all have one person who knows how to bless us despite the evidence, Grandmother was that person to me.” — Phyllis Theroux

this poem, written as I dealt with the loss overnight, was used beautifully by my Hunny; “Blessed

Winter of the Soul

Tree alone against a Winter white landscape

soul at rest
dormant needs

daring forward
shadowy reminder

buried hopes
kept safe but distant

fallow within
tilled by experience

windswept moorings
memories left scattered

existence sapped
remnants of identity

Winter’s vagaries
change one’s state –
not being

storms encircle
doubtbursts reign

treading water
buoyancy wanes

saturated vistas
gathering fog

obscured vision

palpable darkness
hopes, fears; indistinguishable

the been-all and end-all

Winter’s victims
don’t choose to be affected –
only how

frozen in place
painfully suppressed

seeking refuge
under the weather

disrupted pathways
actualities in flux

insufficiency strikes
thunder stolen

at a loss
functionality eroded

damaged goods
battered by circumstance

purple copyright symbol 2009 Dorian Dorey

If we are to survive long enough to yet thrive, a passing state of being cannot become a statement of being. We must instead weather it, 😉 remembering there are mighty Springs below the harshest Winters.

Tree with Winter aesthetic by Gerd Altmann on pixabay

My Companion

Placating My Thoughts

Far from loved but neither hated
Uninvited yet always present
Undeserved is only a concept
Life deals in balance not fairness

Inescapable thus simply endured
Active evasion left too much lost
Actual participation ever a must
Fate played this hand regardless

More damage done when avoided
Even when no cause, an effect
Every experience now suspect
Destiny is possibility not progress

Although affected, never defined
Imposed limitations fight intent
Impacted by pain but persistent
Karma offers enough over excess

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

Placating My Thoughts by Demetrios Varoumas on Flickr™

Cult of Connection

The Millennium Simulation

from words we weave
our tête-à-tête tapestry
as music melds us amidst
the proffered prose & poems

randomly relating
thru coveted candor
encouraged expression
and intersecting intentions

in the acceptance of artistry
a foundation of friendship’s born
souls soar when hearts hold love lent
the cult of connection is complete.. as are we

this is dedicated to my fellow artisans

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

“The Millennium Simulation” by Rich Murray on Flickr™

The Dance of Expression

lit candle

As a candle’s light dances against darkness,
my actions play upon the image I portray.

Choreographed by circumstance,
purpose provides the wick.

The shape of my character is the sculpted wax,
fostering the flame.

Rising above reaction,
I become an inextinguishable candle.

Self is the shadow expression illuminates.

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

“Candle” by * mario * on Flickr™


Bonfire on the beach

Twenty-two years ago tonight
Cosmos glimpsed beside a bonfire
A decision made, never to be undone
Change does come with time.. or should
Shifts & nuances pass as conclusions remain
Doubt everything, trust no-one yet truth’s salient
Hesitance set aside that night on the beach
Life not only claimed but purposefully
Each choice unique to the maker
Free to explore once grounded
Seeing beyond myself; open
Possibilities lead full circle
Chaos that lends control

purple copyright symbol 2008 Dorian Dorey

“Bonfire on the beach” by SchultzLabs on Flickr™

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑