Please Don't Ask
Reviewed By: The Editorial Board
The Editorial Board of The Columbia Review accepts submissions from authors, publishers, directors, agents, producers and fans.

“Please Don’t Ask” by Lyman A. Ditson is an eclectic collection of original poetry, comprising of spiritual, natural, secular, and humorous pieces that share a common quality: a keen eye for fresh observations of people and the world they inhabit.

Perhaps in an unconscious attempt to answer the first question readers do ask—what does the title begs us not to ask—the title poem gives an exquisite answer that also serves as a perfect prelude to this lovely volume:

please don’t ask if tears you see

an open heart breaking free

and drawing lines down my face

not sadness is it I embrace

nor guilt nor pain do I flee


but glorious worlds counting three

filled with life on land and sea

beauty’s magic in this place

oh please don’t ask

Readers will also notice a wise editorial choice here: rather than divide the poems by subject matter, which would give the work as a whole an organized, divided, and ‘manmade’ structure, the poems are arranged as a natural string of observation posts along an emotional path of discovery and joy. This veritable ‘stream of consciousness’ journey is highly effective here, and rings true to its creator inner process, as the poet reveals in the poem “Again” quite poignantly:

tangling thoughts

wrestle me away


my liberation


In summary, “Please Don’t Ask” by Lyman A. Ditson is a wonderful poetry collection that will delight readers with its authentic humanity, deep insights, original-yet-identifiable sentiments, and a linguistic playfulness that conjures the priceless mix of tears and laughter. Highly recommended!