All posts by Eric Robert Nolan

Eric Robert Nolan graduated from Mary Washington College in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology. He spent several years a news reporter and editorial writer for the Culpeper Star Exponent in Culpeper, Virginia. His work has also appeared on the front pages of numerous newspapers in Virginia, including The Free Lance – Star and The Daily Progress. Eric entered the field of philanthropy in 1996, as a grant writer for nonprofit healthcare organizations. Eric’s poetry has been featured by Dead Beats Literary Blog, Dagda Publishing, The International War Veterans’ Poetry Archive, and elsewhere. His poetry will also be published by Illumen Magazine in its Spring 2014 issue.

“At the Coffee Shop,” by Eric Robert Nolan

Draw your
slim white finger to your lips in your thoughtful
pause at the coffee shop.
Glide it unknowingly down
the slender pink bank of your lower lip
beneath the easy stream of your speech,
your lithe tongue a siren there,
pressing gently along your syllables,
and your enlivened words
her serene refrain.

Draw your
eyes to the bright light at the great window —
the iridescent blue of the sky you led me to,
Your irises reflecting
the heaven that is yet less than you.

Draw your
warm opal palm over the pages of your book, to show me,
though its words are only hieroglyphs —
illegible in my ardor,
Iberian beside you,
arcane runes under your perfume.

Draw your
fingertips to touch my knee
in gentle reassurance,
sensing my avidity.

These — all of these —
Song and lesser heavens, hieroglyphs and touch of knee,
draw me
to you, now and ever, whether
present or in memory.

(c) Eric Robert Nolan 2023


Photo credit: By Takeaway – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Throwback Thursday: U2’s “Tryin’ To Throw Your Arms Around The World” (1991)

I love this song.  This was the ninth track from U2’s landmark 1991 album, “Achtung Baby.”  I remember listening to this song while munching on Butterfingers candy bars, cramming nervously for psych exams in my dorm room during the 1993/94 school year at Mary Washington College.

By psych exams, I mean tests in my psychology classes — not tests administered to me by a psychiatric professional.  But, hey, maybe they should have given me the latter.  It might have saved everyone a lot of time.

“Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme/ Your friends to death before their time.”

‘Terence, this is stupid stuff:
You eat your victuals fast enough;
There can’t be much amiss, ’tis clear,
To see the rate you drink your beer.
But oh, good Lord, the verse you make,
It gives a chap the belly-ache.
The cow, the old cow, she is dead;
It sleeps well, the horned head:
We poor lads, ’tis our turn now
To hear such tunes as killed the cow.
Pretty friendship ’tis to rhyme
Your friends to death before their time
Moping melancholy mad:
Come, pipe a tune to dance to, lad.

— excerpt from A. E. Houseman’s “Terence, This is Stupid Stuff,” 1896