Skip to main content



A poem by Charles Halsted of Davis.

Waking Rituals 

At first light, the cars below begin to move.  

I hear the distant moan of the early dawn freight;  

closer in, the gentle coos of the mourning dove. 

Still in cocoon, I roll towards

her sleep-shrouded nakedness,

spoon my bony angles around soft curves. 

I’m awake and alive, while with 

rhythmic rise and fall of her rib cage

she sleeps on warm and still. 

Birds start to call, some shrill, some peeps. 

Low washboard stutters of magpies 

announce the gathering light of the sun. 

Gray turns to gold across fields of wheat,

distant oaks from dark to brilliant greens. 

Sunlight bursts through close-in leaves.  

I splash cold water on my face, 

get the tea water up to a boil. 

Scalding heat, oxygen, tiny leaves 

burst magical aromas and tastes 

all the way from Ceylon to my brain.

My senses now at their height, 

I move into my day.

--Charles Halsted

Send in your poems:

Latest Posts

Rich Lineup for UC Davis Visiting Writers Series

from Claudette Cervinka of Davis.

A poem by Barbara West of Davis

A poem from Charles Halsted in Davis

3 poems by Carlena Wike of Woodland

A poem from Charles Halsted of Davis

East Bay Poets MK Chavez and J.K. Fowler will read at Poetry Night in Davis on September 6th!

Davis poetry reading with open mic

Deborah Shaw Hickerson. Winters, Yolo County.