Michelle Elvy edits at  Blue Five Notebook and A Baker’s Dozen and is also active with poetry and flash fiction in New Zealand.


Michelle Elvy blogs by the light of the Glow Worm


Contributor Notes

Michelle Elvy

Michelle Elvy



He brings the spoonful of Quaker Oats to his lips; his hand trembles

but the oats stick to the spoon. His mind quivers and nothing sticks.

A woman smiles up at him from a photo on the front page of the morning

paper. He thinks of his wife, the way she tucked her hair behind her left ear,

like the woman in the photo. He can barely picture her any more. His mind

offers snapshots of the life he’s lived: a green metal swing-set he shared

with his sister, the arc of waves over a long white beach, a fallen friend’s face

shaded by a muddied helmet.  A white cat – or was it grey? A piano and a flute.

A blue floral sofa he never liked. Bacon, port, strawberry pie. And sometimes

he can feel his wife’s hand in his – the small fingers with their neatly trimmed

nails, the wide gold band that wouldn’t come off over aging knobby knuckles,

the long lifeline (a lie, he reckons: she should have outlived him by years).

Sometimes he hears her laughter in his dreams. But he cannot recall much

about her face – his mind is a broken camera. Still, he always loved that hair

behind her ear.




Dreams of gold

everything exploding

beautiful, new blooms from old

and you feel calm and light

shit’s resolved in the night

house-job-commute: kapow! 

broke-down car: kapow! 

cheater-husband: kapow! 


In deams of gold you line ’em up and say

Off with your head! 

In dreams things happen just that way,

with the flick of a wand a tilt of your head

or just a withering glance


Bad things evaporate into happy floating mist

and you can dance, long flowing limbs

even the neighbour’s yappy dog —

one raised eyebrow does him in


and now you can breathe

and now you can dance


And now you’re awake

to a water-stained ceiling, a whirring

fan reeling and dull grey sheets pressing heavy and stealing

your breath.  And to the ugly smoke-and-vodka lump feeling

its way to the light of day you say



And to yourself, in a feather-hush whisper,

because you have honeygold eyelids

you say now, you say loud now:

Happy New Year