About My First Book Horizons and How to Order

Introducing My First Poetry Book, "Horizons"

  My first poetry book, Horizons (Atmosphere Press)  AVAILABLE IN PAPERBACK AND AUDIOBOOK NOW!! SEE BELOW TO ORDER!!!! Embark on a captivat...

Wednesday, December 27, 2023

The Pace of Christmas Morning: a poem


The Pace of Christmas Morning


The only sounds I hear
are the creak of my boots
on the layer of snow atop the sidewalk
this Christmas morning

and the squeak of my hood
against my winter hat,
a child’s multi-colored knit beanie with
double pom-poms sewn on top like ears. 

A small crabapple leans in towards me
as I walk south to the end of the street,
its branches reaching barely above my head,
berries clinging in the slight wind. 

As I reach the end of the street and
turn around, I face my own boot prints.
I walk where my own feet have trod. 

My toes touch heel prints,
my heels press where my toes
once met the snow over the concrete. 

My pace is less than my usual two-foot length
toe-to-toe, the small patches
of snow and ice keeping me cautious.   

This specific length is one I know because
my boss the soil professor had me measure

the distance of my regular pace
during my freshman year of college
in order to mark out his research plots, 

two feet being the same length
my son nearly stretched
from head to toe the day he was born. 

But today he stretches far above me,
far above every member of the family
nestled back at my parents’ house 

where I am headed. He is almost as tall
as this crabapple tree I greet a second
time as I walk beneath berry-laden
branches now covered in snow. 

The flakes, bright fat clusters falling happily,
cling to everything they touch, whitening the
landscape, tapping me on my shoulders, my glasses, 

saying oh happy day, happy morning, today
is a day to gather as I reach the door behind which
my family sits, our own cluster of happy celebration,
feet tucked in socks, hands wrapped around coffee cups, 

Christmas the easy pace of the day.


 by Tansy Julie the Soaring Eagle Paschold

written 12.25.23


If you liked this, check out my book Horizons!  Found on Atmosphere Press website or email me at jpaschold @ gmail.com for a signed copy 

 Come to a poetry reading if you are in the area!  Schedule found on my post here

Monday, December 18, 2023

One More Time: a poem


One More Time

 I hope you know
when I deleted your messages
it was not me deleting you;
that I still see your eyes
and remember your words
and feel your hands and lips
and body, still smell
the smell of you on my couch.
That I wish we had one last
pleasant moment after the pain,
that we could have spoken
words of closure, that I
could reach back and show
you why I did what I did,
and it wasn’t because of you
but what others have done
to me that broke and scarred
who I am today, that I am
trying, that you matter to me,
that I believed what you
said and I thought we were
headed somewhere other than
off a dead-end cliff,
that when I didn’t hear from
you it felt as though you had
disposed of me and that I
was garbage to you, and now
when we see each other you
will act as if we are
strangers, that I meant
and mean nothing to you.
I want to tell you in the quiet
when it is only us two
that I am sorry, oh, just
one more time, to see you
and tell you to your face—
I still care, I’m still here,
I still miss you—
each and every blessed day.


Tansy Julie the Soaring Eagle Paschold



Friday, December 15, 2023

Revising and Editing Poetry


Revising and Editing Poetry

“The way to stay fresh in poetry is to do something that makes you uncomfortable” –Julie S. Paschold, to a graduate poetry class at the University of Nebraska-Kearney


I recently consulted an Advanced Poetry class for graduate students at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.  They were interested in the subject of editing and revising their poetry.

Here are some considerations and things to think about when sitting down with one of your poems, or a collection:

Things to Consider for One Poem:

·         Is this a form poem, or free verse?

o   for form, are you rigidly following the rules, or breaking some of them?

o   for form, does the poem still make sense and flow?

·         Read the poem aloud

o   How does it sound?

§  choppy, smooth, rhyming, flowing

o   Does it make sense?  Is it supposed to?

o   What is the message? Who is the intended audience?

o   Do you repeat words—intentionally?  Too much? Do some of them need to be replaced with a synonym or deleted?

o   Is it too descriptive, not enough?

o   What can you remove and still maintain the message?

o   What needs to be rephrased?

o   Is it too long or short?

o   How does it end—abruptly? Surprise? Are you satisfied? Do you leave them hanging at the end? Are you trying to upset them?

·         Have someone else read the poem aloud

o   How does it sound?

o   Does anything stand out…is it supposed to?

o   Do they stumble on anything?

o   Do they question something?

o   Is something missing? Or repetitive?

·         How does it look?

o   Justification: Center, Left, Right?

o   One solid mass? Verses? Indented lines?

·         If you have quotes: Use quotation marks or italics?

·         If you have dialogue: Do you use justification for the speakers (one right, one left)? Or verses? Or fonts? How to distinguish between them.

·         What is the tone? Horror, humor, sorrow, political, social/society, grief, romance….are you successful?

·         Does the “voice” or tone change in the middle of the poem?

·         Line breaks

o   Are they natural breaks, when someone would take a breath?

o   Do you intentionally break in the middle of a phrase or thought, jolting the person into paying attention, so the poem is jolted, too, breaking the poem or thought?

o   Are lines long or short?

o   Is there a rhythm to them?

o   Is this more narrative?

o   Do your sentences dictate a line break, or do you have sentences end in the middle of a line, indicating flow throughout the poem?

·         Can you split the poem into two?

·         Can you merge two shorter into one longer poem?

·         Is this a chapter poem?

·         Can you change a form poem into free verse, or a free verse into a form? 

·         Can you add a random line into the middle of the poem to change the tone or message or add distraction?

Things to Consider for a Collection:

·         What overall meaning or message are you trying to get across?

o   How does the title help do this?

·         Are there sub-groups within the collection?

·         As the message moves along the collection—what order does this take? How you place the poems regulates how you create the message.

·         What length are you looking for? Full manuscript? Small selection for a submission? Chapbook? Chapter in a manuscript?

·         What does it have to have, be, or sound like in order to “fit” what you are looking for?

o   Do you have to change anything in order to do this?

o   Do you have to remove or add a poem in order to do this?

o   Do you have to edit a poem in order to do this?

If you are too close to a poem, and have trouble emotionally separating yourself from the subject, either read the poem to another person, or imagine yourself as another person. Edit as though you were in their shoes: it is a bit of a dissociating tactic.

I usually take a break between writing a poem and editing it. I write by hand first, wait at least a day, then type it up.  While typing, I edit.  Then I read it aloud, and type further.  If I am still unsure, I have someone read it to me and edit again.  I will caution, however: YOU CAN EDIT A POEM TOO MUCH. There is a point when you need to put a poem away. If you are unsure about whether you are done or not, put it aside for a while.  Or try one of the last five bullet points in the above list for single poems: breaking it up, merging, adding a line, changing form, etc. Or accepting it as it is.

In the above quote, I closed by stating that remaining stagnant in a form or method that keeps you comfortable keeps you from growing.  Try a form you haven’t before. Use prompts that get you out of your normal thoughts. If you write sad poems, write a humorous one. Write a prose poem if you normally write short poems. Write collaborative poems with another poet. Share poetry with others. Get up and try a poetry slam, or just try reading in front of an open mic. Do something you normally wouldn’t. This keeps you fresh, keeps you growing and improving and developing as a poet and as a person.

I hope this helps!  Let me know if you found this useful.

Thanks for reading,

Julie S. Paschold,

    author of Horizons (Atmosphere Press)




Thursday, December 7, 2023

Extra Protein: a poem


Extra Protein


I declare to you:

I do believe
that I just drank a fly.

The insect, that is.
You know, like the song…
I know an old lady
who swallowed a fly
I don’t know why…

Only I think I know
why I swallowed this lump
that floated down my throat
just a minute ago.

I left an open can of energy drink,
half full,
on my work desk at the office
yesterday, and this morning
as I hastily guzzled a sizeable gulp
of the sweet caffeine,
I inadvertently partook
of a small unfortunate creature
whose curiosity last night
was the death of him,
drowning instead of swimming
in a dark aluminum cave of sugared liquid,

soon to spin
in a sea of acid.
I can feel him headed there now,
a lump of chitin with curled legs—
causing me to suppress my gag reflex,
but still be able to ponder his journey.

Alas, as they say,
I needed a bit of extra
protein, anyway!


Tansy Julie the Soaring Eagle Paschold