Beverly M. Collins: The Mist

It’s 8:30 pm. I become aware of the cold

Temperature of the station bench through

My clothing. The train’s headlight appears

On the track, a distant sun blinking so far off

There is no warmth from its rays.

The feeling draws me back to our afternoon

Meeting announcement that a re-organization

Is about to disorganize my life and reveal

Accumulated dust in its corners

It’s funny how one sentence can tighten temples,

Add pepper and vinegar to a fresh cup of coffee

And suck all the air from the room at the same time.

These moments come out of the mist,

Bringing a chilly foul odor with a perfume label.

An appointment with insomnia placed before

Me with the dash of a stiff smile

Back at my desk, my attention creeps over

To the upside. I recalled insomnia visiting me with

Increased frequency over the past two years.

Let me see: demands, aching hands and insomnia

Versus insomnia and a new start. The cup before

Me was suddenly half full. It is not too sweet, but it

Has some cream.


(First published in Poetry Letter and Literary Review, CSPS)

Beverly M. Collins is the author of the books, Quiet Observations: Diary Thought, Whimsy and Rhyme and Mud in Magic. Her works have also appeared in California Quarterly, Poetry Speaks! A year of Great Poems and Poets, The Hidden and the Divine Female Voices in Ireland, The Journal of Modern Poetry, Spectrum, The Altadena Poetry Review, Lummox, The Galway Review (Ireland), Verse of Silence (New Delhi), Peeking Cat Poetry Magazine (London), Scarlet Leaf Review (Canada), The Wild Word magazine (Berlin), Indigomania (Australia) and more.

Why Work in Los Angeles? For the Stories

Damn my co-workers. I’ve grown to care about them now, and quite fervently, at that!

It just happened: over the last couple of months they’ve turned into more than colleagues, but something of another wacky little family I’ve had the fortune of stumbling into.

Now, long after every drink and customer is served, and even after the lights go out, I catch myself wondering about my co-workers while we’re apart, and reflecting on all of the conversations we’ve had:

In the span of just a few months, through every word we’ve exchanged we’ve built whole worlds around each other. I’ve learned greatly from these worlds, and I can only keep learning from them. It is as exciting as it is strange.

On the one hand, it’s exciting because every day at work both my coworkers and I are getting closer to the next part of our lives, or to the next version of ourselves that we need to be. To do this alongside each other is to share a process of culmination. As we each grow by ourselves, we also influence one another to grow, creating a kaleidoscope, or an ever-expanding process of new perspectives.

In this way, I can see why people remain at certain jobs for years and even decades of their lives. It’s all a matter of taking one day at a time, filtering through the minutiae, and showing up again the next day because each time is so different from the last.

On the other hand, it’s scary to think of how my job has grown on me.

It happened more quickly than I could recognize it. One day I just got up from bed and found myself not only ready to go to work, but committed to it. At a time in my life when commitments are rather daunting ideas, the commitment to work is something different.

In the moment I realized I didn’t just have to go to work–but that I wanted to–I stopped seeing my coworkers as just some other group of people, but as my team: a cast of individuals who–like myself–were showing up to the task in order to keep the fight going.

At the same time, the meaning of work changed: apart from being a responsibility, work became a journey to create sustenance in the face of an uncertain future. It became about building a life, and building a life became a grand privilege to enjoy.

Alongside my coworkers — these People of Los Angeles — the privilege of building became something fun. It became mysterious to think about how we’d get through another shift together, and fascinating to think about how we always found a new way to joke and laugh together.

It’s even more fascinating to think about how I’m still there. As a result, every day with my coworkers isn’t just new, it’s a ride, a puzzle, and a story. Sure, the ride isn’t always a smooth one, but one thing’s for sure: it’s always an adventure.

In this vein, yours truly has been adventuring, and rest assured: the best is yet to come. As the holiday season brings us together again, there’ll be a world’s worth of more to share and enjoy.

With Honor and Respect,


There is supposed to be some shame in falling,

Or a great regretting.

Yet now I only marvel at the slip.

Born from dreams that died midair to begin,

There are other hopes now growing from the daze:

Fierce, wanting, and fighting for the ground ahead.