Joy Matusky Goldstein, under arrest at a Ground Zero demonstration against nuclear submarines (Courtesy Photo).

Joy Matusky Goldstein, under arrest at a Ground Zero demonstration against nuclear submarines (Courtesy Photo).

Longtime activist reads her poetry

  • Wednesday, October 31, 2018 2:02pm
  • Arts

Joy Matusky Goldstein, a longtime islander known best as a potter and activist, has also quietly written poetry for many years. She’ll go public as a poet and read from her recently published chapbook, “Discoveries,” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4, at Vashon Community Care. She’ll also give away the chapbooks in exchange for donations to VCC.

The book was published by islander Jane Neubauer, Goldstein’s longtime friend who showed pottery with her as part of the “Mud Mamas” on Vashon’s studio art tour. Goldstein is well known on the island and beyond as a self-professed “peacenik,” sitting vigil against violence and for world peace with Vashon Women in Black, and being arrested many times while demonstrating at the Navy’s nuclear submarine base and its undersea warfare center in Kitsap County. She has also served her community in many other ways, including serving on the board of Vashon HouseHold.


You say the little efforts that I make

will not prevail,

that they will do no good

to tip the scale

where life hangs in the balance —

Perhaps I never thought they would

but I am called, past all debate

to choose which side

shall feel the stubborn ounces

of my weight.


Step by fragile step

we walk out onto air,

feeling with our feet

for what cannot be there

until we weight it with belief

and turn the air to rock.

Step into dream; the road unrolls

beneath us as we walk.


I envy trees. I cannot stand,

arms raised to heaven, more than minutes.

They grow in glory, offering praise

in one green gesture all their lives.

Perhaps they envy me. For all the pain,

the greed, the busy blindness of this human life

I’m sometimes blessed to stop.

And breathe.

And sing.

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