Nicole Hawley

About Me

Display Name

Nicole Hawley


What's New

My Progress

It’s been a while since I’ve visited, but since writing on the Clarion West Writers Workshop last year, I have graduated with my master’s of arts degree in English and Creative Writing from Southern New Hampshire University.  While I need to go back to work on my manuscript, “Genetic Dissent,” I have been busily penning poetry, trying to keep on a consistent pace of at least two new poems a week, since early spring of 2019.  My hope is to self-publish a chapbook on KDP Publishing and raise money for an organization that works with victims of domestic violence.


What I Write

Writing Sample

Butterfly I

While sheltered inside her oval home she grew her gumption. An inner core meant for so much more than a former generation. Resolute soul bold with ambition to break unendurable barriers. But those tasked to bear and shelter, simply would not carry her. So as her form began to emerge, outside forces would converge. Born to be prideful and sure, her true fortune they would diverge. That caterpillar would crawl from her quiet place in cautious state. Her ambition choked by those who would control and dominate. But moment came when inchworm began to stretch beyond her limen. She knew it was time to shed her former philosophies and demons. Worm starved those parasitic voices buried deep within her soul. Days of repression were over, she was meant to be vibrant and bold. It was from that twig she began to spin her trail of true destiny. Upside down and all around, later’s threads deemed silky and shiny. Cast them by her own doing; currently on a path of her own choosing. A radically reformed body, she’d break free from that protective casing. Evaluators would spew their scrutiny and lies; just allow them their scorn. No longer matters, they’ll just get to miss out on this spectacle reborn. Wings spread, she flutters and dances; her inner light is finally free. Hard to believe moth had no idea until today, what she could truly be.

The Umbrella I Always Carried

Another day just like any other, spent battling the storm, I hold your curved handle. Under black skies through drizzles, drops and mighty torrents, I unbutton your inhibition. Thumb that bottom spring; slide the shaft to the top clasp where you spread your wings. Nylon-covered ribs canopied across stretcher anchored by runner, you’re of most clever design. Your task appeared so simple; you shield me from strifes that strike without warning. Other weather forecast by the predicted climate of indestructible circumstances. You provide me immunity from the elements nature forced upon this anxious existence, Yet your duty lacks a certain perfection. You hover over my head, but why are my pants and shoes soaking wet? Sometimes too small; others too heavy, winds of change make you flimsy or unsteady. Eurus’ breath cracks ribs despite all your hard-learned resistance. Meant to be carried only for temporary, this rainy day tool unfolds into my daily bad-assery. But in rebirth, I make acquaintance with the mirth that dictates your faulty design. I recall countless pressures by which you were forced to remain undamaged and prized. While fully appreciating your motivating presence, I commit to ease your sheltering canopy. Undeserving of your perpetual position, today I ask you old friend, go realize your redemption.

My Contempt with Neptune

Aqueduct piled up atrocities running through channels dug deep; seep through veins that feed cities what’s been gathered and collected for years Tears for fear that once was will always remain Same old water following contours known to have toured scarred terrain. Each time new poison instigated, you append to its descend down parallel channels. Sour and sharp, yet you allow those swallows of sorrow to fill the thirst of your perceptions. Pointless the re-occuring fight those current endeavors to conjure pure fluid from the murk. Yet know today you must show kindness to the blindness self-taught to gain strength and continuity.Explains the painless effort for grey matters to tread on heels of nature’s slightest gradient. But if ever there is to be a more lucid passage, then fluid’s old ways must surely be re-routed. Nicole, for years you’ve followed conduits of brick and stone that aggravate your state of alone. So let now be your time to turn that valve that be the resolve of your salvation. 

At Odds with My Unconscious

Feeling stuck surrounded by brick walls. Keep pounding and pounding but with stone against bone, guess who’s going to win. I keep knocking anyway, despite the pain and what they say. But I’ve never liked the status quo, so I chose not to listen. I WILL do it anyway. Yet all I hear you say is… Take a break. TAKE A BREAK. Series of inevitable events. Independent girl been trying to break laws of physics since birth. Guess it’s my curse and mirth — soul that never rests. A tried and true test, Einstein always appears triumphant in the end. These walls lock out paths toward my eternal gate. Fate sends a message. Take a break. Take a break. Listen deep for the mind and soul connection. In the hidden whispers I hear my screams. But fear if I cease now, I’ll never find that happy ending. Bending shadows of current circumstance, sculpting scenes in preparation of brighter tomorrows. I labor and labor. In the name of my favor. Sorrows of yesterday mistakes that gifted lessons, creep not far behind. War my discord with deja vu. A fool will blame her broken mast when her anchor’s down. Better waters not found my doing before. Hope found in creation of present designs. In between lines you hear the lesson in my story. So I labor and labor. In the name of future’s favor. Psychics or gypsies, wish they could answer. Search for a path more pleasing. Brick walls merely Satan’s teasing, they close me in. Once broken free, if ever, I do adventure, How will one know what path to follow. Soul hallowed from years of guesswork. Confess this heart meek and tired. Bellows of a warrior until she leaves her mark. Stark the light of reality and what’s at stake. Stalked by hauntings of past mistakes. Time for reflection and self-satisfaction. Trust the voices, choice is yours… Take a break. TAKE A BREAK.

Healing Wounds

They say the way toward moving forward is VULNERABILITY The liability of a partnership to higher penalty; OPEN to being broken, condemned, attacked… Girl not yet learned how I may safely show me. Behold this superior stone shell birthed by raging sea. It’s taken forty-two years to painstakingly erect her. Brick on top of mortar; layer-upon-layer, thick like butter. Level straightens all the fine lines. Great mines tried taking her out several times, as I wallowed in the seat of my endings. Wrecking’s Ball always strikes, then turns when job is done; never looking twice. While others would keep pounding and pounding. So became my mission to stack her thicker and deeper. Manufactured by a craftsman; surely you’d believe its one-of-a-kind. Protects me; keeps YOU blind to what’s been seen this lifetime. Makes me unmindful in how I’d even start to stage my recital. Grandstand curtain covers this freak show revival. Sword swallowing, fire eating, mind reading… Rarities I’ve performed you’d find grotesque at best. So why your need to gawk at Barnum’s circus? “Be honest with yourself,” so say the prophets. “Share your passions and dreams, but know to set boundaries.” Fortune’s tellers oh so masterful in advising what to do. No instructions, no playbook, no contributed tools to help reconstruct you. So how is it you claim to know me best, when it’s only I who holds the records to all these trials and tests? Weakness exploited when I allowed you passage inside valves and ventricles. Yes, while too artless and true, vultures came and rummaged my former Vulnerable. All made knocking down these walls such the onerous task. DON’T YOU SEE? Mistakes that haunt me instill fear in removing this cement mask. 

Compliment from a Companion

In the park between maple trees was an iron bench of rust and green. Sitting there were two men; each the opposite side of the other. One on the right looked as if he’d been through quite a fight; Torn coat, gloves frayed, over-sized knit hat partially covered dirt-spackled face. Yet it must have been eighty degrees. Bread in pocket shared with the birds; even offered some to his neighbor. One on the left gave a side-ways smile, lifting one hand from his newspaper. “I’m good, thanks.” Turned his head and continued reading; hoped to find life’s meaning in Harper’s Magazine. Speckled man took a sip from his six-dollar Starbucks. Dammit!,” dribbled drops on pink tie and white laboratory jacket. “Hmmm…What a curious find,” I boasted during my mid-day stroll. “I say, Night and Day could not be personified in a more striking way.” Walked up to both and said, “How do you do?” Man on the right responded, “Hey, name’s Stew, what’s yours? Haven’t seen ya here before.” Man on the left focused on his text, briefly peered up. “Dr. Philip Goldstein…pleasure,” he said to me, stretching out his right hand. “No sense in making you stand, won’t you come ‘ere and have a seat?” So that I did, and it was then I realized the fantastic phenomenon before me. Merely a student, I’d discover great pleasures inside the treasure that was their stories.

I Brought A Ghost His Mail

I came to visit you on my stroll with the Sandman. Walked up the wooden steps of weathered gray toward the aged walls of your humble home. Before entering I saw your mailbox overflow with news and messages. Reached inside and pulled out envelopes large and small – thick and thin with letters, flyers and magazines. Stacked them in my left arm. Gently turning the knob, I opened the big white door and stepped in. Figured you’d know I was there and didn’t care.  “Come on in, Nicole!,” you called to me as you came up the cellar stairs – towel over shoulder; bucket in hand. Big, dimpled smile – you were happy to see me. “Hope you don’t mind, thought I’d bring these inside.”  Tried to show I wasn’t meddling or looking at labels. Didn’t matter if they belonged to him or that woman who was, or is, in his life. After all, I was just trying to be nice. “That’s OK thanks, why don’t you just set it on the table right there?” You asked “So, what’s new?,” without even moving your lips. Told myself if this were real and true, no need to instantly fall in love with you. Appreciated my chance to talk – had no clue where it would lead. I’ll be strong and stand my guard, yet remain pleasant and calm.  “Let’s take our time mending bleeding hearts,” I said to me, grateful I could once again call you friend. Okay if that’s all we stayed. In my head, told you about recently graduating school. You smiled with mouth and eyes, but as I stared and stared; realized it wasn’t you who was actually there. As I tried to recognize who this stranger was, Sandman brought me abruptly back into Land of Actuality. Perhaps it means you don’t hate me; or you just weren’t the man I’d hope for and need. Lots can be said of this stroll, it’s true. Visions of what a heart yearns for with thoughts all askew. Will there ever be opportunity to find a final truce and peaceful unity? Searching for the meaning of my journey – bringing a ghost his mail.


gone by in time that affliction past spilled yet look – there’s the STAIN. Still there. Bare my soul? Don’t dare. You’re always There. You never go away. Right there! Bathing barriers I erected to protect them from the sight of you Imbue your tedious hauntings my demon distressed I detest you; my ruthless cue. Look away Blend in those sins Hues gone astray Still, there’s my Stain. Can you see it? I attempt to cover its pervade evasion my mastery of manipulation Rub and scrub Rub and scrub… Until skin raw with reality’s lies Fools be the blind Roll and fold Scold my inefficient attempts at disencumbering agonies always kept. No matter how I protest you, my persistent test; a constant inevitable guest. My Stain Spray you with self-reflecting anecdote. Yet you shall always bloat my allotted span. Toxic your tenacity, never giving way. Poison continually permeates. You leave assumptions behind Permanent condemnation your erected shrine. Yet it’s an acceptance I choose to decline. You stare and stare. But no matter how well I perform Always in my ship battling the storm. This be my war fought in vain. Forever my stain My Stain

Our Measure

I’ve tried to hold you; mold you; manipulate and control you…For my sake, make you a tool of my consciousness. It’s seemed so long, when you haven’t inched much at all. Thrall me with illusion when you swiftly go. Ancestors worshiped your fatalism; Realism set by Gods and demons. Seasoned series of events our unbroken chain. Blame in unreality; apparitions your composition. Conclusions from occurrences may simply fade, Made middle-aged woman argue the eternalized view. “Present moment not ontologically privileged,” she said. Fed by theories of four-dimensional being Feeling relentless commotion within motion of His tesseract. For past, future, now, all reside within His universal block Mock your magical Man; from his linear sky he peers in, Sin he’s amused over what conjured in that box. But ours not a place where the great wizard lives, how Augustine would explain Man’s unheard sorrow Borrow not what one cannot give, turn back or break. It was McTaggart’s perception that had little intention, at crediting a temporal experience of mystical vision. Decision that what’s gone and ahead, only exist in the head. Phenomenological its legendary appearance, a conception quite contradictory, circular or insufficient. Efficient that we give it solidarity and shape. Theory of relativity would change all that. Gravity pulling at quantum’s strings; they loop around Bound by a single beginning and end. You explain everything yet we know so little. Your ill-perceived outcome forever your power. Cower to the persistent fear of our unexplored intensions. Father, we’ll always question when you’ll unveil your Truth. It suits you to hide ambivalence within mechanical hands. Sands flow, consistent your cries; both my friend and enemy. Tic-toc…Tic-toc…Tic-toc.

Old Moon’s Tune

Light almost goneGibbous, my mother before.Explore with what littletime is left.Kept my birthto the middleAges.Cages of conservatismbrought me to this latePlace.Chased by darkness that ateOur suffusedSatellite.Bright, however,the remaining lightOle Sol giftsMe.Free fromburdens once carried,No need lookingBackCrack, sliver, crescent…Called different namesLet themJudgeGrudges no longerheld — no timefor suchNonsense!Fence broken throughnow keep looking AheadDread not fatesonce placed silentlyAlong myPathWrath my enemyhope my friendTune my psychicIntuitionSuspicion I knewall along, SolYou no longer Control Dole is mine Sure to writemy own StoryGlory mend my soul healed inTimePrime my daysahead…continue, flourishthis not my END;

The State of Alone

I worry about being what I’ve always been. Loneliness is a state of mind Being alone Feeling ALONE Two totally different things. Yet the same in the END. Small child who hid under the dark space between the floor and bed. Tried so to become the person her mother felt she should be instead. A Sacrifice of SELF for acceptance senseless love Lost solo girl Taught herself to be what others wanted to see. Didn’t know slowly killing who I was meant to be. Men were always the enemy. A father who beat mother and brother. Psychotic the ironic relief when at one time or another, the punches and chokes came upon me. Perhaps mother would see me her equal in love and pain. Now both bodies carried the black and blue STAINS Blame not the man behind the madness. Instead condemn the child for her denied innocence. Judge her Label Allow her to believe she would NEVER be able. This my war still waged today. Each day I work to remove the chains. So one day woman would labor to make love not meant to be. Fear of lonely my loyal enemy Wait and wait… he’ll become what I need. Planted the seed but he would not grow. Naive child just didn’t know. Believed one day man would make me whole, instead left with dried up bucket of soul. The day I wore white, told myself I could deal Any major strife I would feel. That’s how you set yourself up for failure, by the way. So in the END I just couldn’t stay… It was then I began to truly see Maybe there is much more this girl is meant to be. Set out to break this cycle that had spun out of control, Generations of women gifting legacies of self-destroyed souls. They said I’d need to learn to love me, Why couldn’t I just see But that was simply a state I was never taught to be. Seeking a new legacy, I encountered Him Eventually just added to my long list of SINS Psycho bitch for all my lashing out Let myself succumb to insecurities and doubt. Knew all along his loyalties with me would never belong ONCE AGAIN gave my heart all wrong. HE Another just not meant to be. One with no intentions to stay. So easy for Him to simply walk away. Don’t ever mention her again, He said. Just another sting inside that scorpion’s den. And just as man’s intension could not be more cruel, Fate would later introduce me to the Devil. Aesop’s wolf promised he’d never be the same. All simply part of his sick game. Stole the pains I would confess. Turned them against me, once – twice – he learned my Weakness. Dreams and promises made by others never kept, He knew that was something I could never accept. So with malice and manipulation he would spew his Lies, Until that one day my heart no longer blind. Once I began to question and fight his control Began his quest to annihilate my soul. “Narcissist” a word I would come to define. But it was too late when I learned all the signs. Heart given to the wrong one, here we go AGAIN! Fell prey, once more, inside that scorpion’s den. Then came the Minotaur who lured me in, Unaware of where I’d already been. Thought he could play with me too. But this time girl not played the FOOL. Cut him down before I fell This time your fortune, I WOULD TELL Tale I conjure occurred some time ago. Others decry, time to just let go. Must move on and learn to trust, Yet how does one find faith in what’s never been just. Woman who yearns for this thing never truly seen, A place my ship has never been Not even sure what it truly means. To everyone else my spirit merely their lien. How does one know water if it’s never been tasted, My wine a euphoria that’s always been tainted. They say as true as the setting sun, One day I Shall find the ONE But what if he’s never there, forever my spirit bare. I may always be in this state of ALONE Perhaps I’ll be no longer, once flesh turns to Bone. 


I am from the forest, Home of gravel path, tunnel of twisted branches, decaying wood stumps; stench of dead earth; stale moss-filmed swamps. Where bullfrogs croak and crickets chirp. I am from the darkness, in which I travel that endless gravel path. I search for you, light, my truth lives there. I only see you — round eyes, dimples; Man in the Moon so far out of reach. I am from that blustering wind. Pushes against my back, strikes my face Carries me to where I need to be, closer to my tranquility. Cannot see whether I am far or near. Keep running. I am from the myth where hopes flourish. Searching for a better road for destiny to follow. My compass broken. A spirit meant for so much more. Must find that place where true aspirations take shape. An intention; not an escape. I am from the sun, his sweet rays warm not my bitter heart. Some call it the end; others a new start. Weight resting atop my shoulders so heavy a carry. Must continue; one foot in front of the other. Lead the way. I am from the cleansing water whose rhythmic currents grant me balance. A place I go to achieve my enigmatic calm. It draws me in; clothes my nude vulnerabilities. Only feels right that I listen and follow; addicted to its refreshing bliss. I am from the Ancient Yew, its out-stretched limb lies across that gravel path I travel. No part of any plan. YOU made me stumble and fall! Through tears, I see friend’s hand gently reach for mine. Rise! I am from the spirit of that companion; hands clasped, they inform me to keep moving. They travel alongside me, although I have no confirmed destination. Otherwise my journey fruitless. Let’s run! I am from the potion of naivety conjured by the Devil. Child who believed HE was the gift sent by Hosanna. Tricked by His sick, twisted games. Truth’s alarm struck hard, by evil’s mighty anvil. I am from the book of wisdom and knowledge, now forced to read. He and others before ate my soul; buried the bones. Much to be learned, gained. Whispers in the wind ask how far I’ve come. Mere middling, I’m afraid. I am from the black that birthed mourning; Placing what little left of my soul into night. Believed he had the right, cursed monster. His kind came AGAIN to dance within my head. Put me to bed, then fled. I am from the burning torch, that rejuvenates my inner flame. Those who always believed, they help carry and remain. Hitting rock bottom. Woman, your heart so guarded today. But you’re not to blame. I am from the hearts of my sisters, whose power and enlightenment took me from isolation; His damning manipulation. Lonely, but no longer alone. Others share the story; shackled by legacy Don’t you stay, BE free! I am from the drowning rains, crafted by words taken from that wise book. They cleanse; mend. Mud from years of self-scrutiny leave stains. Here, a brush; scrub away the pains. I am from the blade, it slices like words crafted from my tongue. Temporary Man, he surges my imprisoned rage. Anger the heir of treachery. Years His acts of tyranny gifted me scorn. Now his punishment and injustice, NO MORE! I am from the crescent moon, with its light of anxious ambition I create new realities. A woman once so worried about her fate. Knows now it’s hers to create. A journey, not destination; pictures not seen in cards. MY manifestation. I am from the fragile glass, so transparent, I see clarity in the reincarnate. Who am I, the voice asks from within. I am Woman, closer to whom I was born to be. Reflection of Child…Warrior…Lover… Learned today I am all three. I am from the Phoenix, a symbol for all those who tried to burn me. Know I have risen, no longer a pile of ashes. What become of that light… Been running toward this thing — but it lived within me; beside me, THIS ENTIRE TIME.

Naia’s Change

Plunged into darkness Sudden end to young, troubled life Searching for water Stone age daughter, perhaps wife Swallowed by boundless abyss. In that cave you laid Solo on your Ice Age throne. Nothing to mark you Within tomb of limestone Thirteen-thousand years you stayed. One day crawlers came Found the wonders of your bones No longer alone Huitzilopochtli gifts light Your spirit given a name. Naia reincarnate Teen-age girl long forgotten Baren lands trodden Today your plush green gardens. New destiny you dictate.

What I Write

Poetry has been my first and foremost writing passion over the last five months.  I work full-time as a news reporter for a small daily newspaper in Rome, NY, and since graduating from SNHU, I am feverishly looking for full-time work teaching at the collegiate level.



My Write-a-thon Goals

Writing Goals

Continue writing/completing at least two poems per week.


Fundraising Goals

Here’s an incentive: Give me a word or subject and ask me to write a poem about it for a $5 donation!