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Through

The sun is
a weary yellow
behind flat gray sky
this December noon
Not like autumn
when that brilliant kingfisher
first came to our park
bluer than sky
diving in the glassy pond
rising with his juicy sustenance
Today he wings from tree to tree
eyeing the cold little abyss
rattling his dry raspy chatter
Flies away hungry

They say there’s danger
for the halcyon
as it plummets
from such high places
Birdwatchers tell the story
of a kingfisher
that dove into a lake
broke its wing and slowly
bled into the water
its mate frantic and circling above

I rise from my bench
solitary and free
wander off the path
with memories of green
Some leaves and twigs crunch
over mud not quite frozen
Blotches of thin ice
coat dark puddles

Sundress and straw hat
packed away for summer
bundled in my down jacket
I persist
Hobbling with a cane
twenty-six winters now
The invisible beacon
faithfully leads me on
I dream of spring

kingfisher autumn

Top photo courtesy J.J. Harrison; bottom photo by Andrew Mckie

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Uncategorized

Silver Cord

While everyone sleeps
I slip out into the night
and deeply breathe
the lilac air

I gaze at the crescent moon
worried at heart
begging
needing more time

Not one of us
escapes her pull
as she labors through phases
to bestow her faithful beauty

The lunar cradle
connects me to every tide and tremor
every person
lost and found

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Uncategorized

Inconvenient Truth

Somewhere at dusk
light goes out of a baby’s eyes
The mother holds her son to her dry breast
dropping her head
moaning dry words of comfort
rocking

Somewhere else
a son is dragged in the street
and left on the caked mud
his face contorted in a silent scream
his still shining eyes
reflect the stars

Partisans reclaim the rope
Lamentations pierce the calm
and sputters of hatred echo
between quiet houses suddenly lit
but hush toward dawn
when the sun ignites the sky

Wrapped in morning whispers
couples are moored to their hope
but when they separate
to begin their day
he’s recruited for the cause
that ancient failure of vengeance

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Phoenix

When the indigo blanket of night
unfolds so softly and deep
over low silky clouds of lavender
apricot and the palest green
faint twinklings of starlight signal
new horizons of hope
I rise and grip my compass

Across this darkening desert
waves of hot sand swirl me
high above those statued saguaro
guardians of that wasteland
Cool breezes now whispering stories
laughter and music and dancing
I hear the ever green beckon

Near a cold glassy lake in a forest
where grasses are dewy and sweet
friends and companions are waiting
eager to share in our crossings
Sparkling eyes around the campfire
anchored beneath a wheeling sky
I sleep by this fire again

 

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Uncategorized

Shakespeare in the Park

Scene One
In spring, well rehearsed
bright yellow flags appear
opening this matinee
At center stage rear
the duck’s behind, up-so-down
gets top billing
He does headstands and frolics
dives and eats God-knows-what
sucking muck
from the bottom of the pond

Scene Two
Robins bicker
They flit and fly
off then on
the broken branches
of this salvaged prop
an ice ravaged
but still pink
blossoming hawthorn
They hop down behind a
curtain of falling petals

Scene Three
As I leave my front row seat
startled bullfrogs plop
into the sun-footed light
shimmering on the lagoon floor
For this surprise encore
I smile applause
Another wonderful performance!
The park’s the thing
wherein I catch
the play

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Poiesis: The Words

Always chasing them
On and off the clock
at work
Notebook in my pocket
on the park bench
Or in the kitchen
waiting for water to boil
stirring in the pasta
My daughter says
‘Mom, you’re not listening
You have that faraway look’
They collaborate
behind my eyes
At night whispered
into my husband’s ear
He says
‘I love their sound
Lull me to sleep
Keep talking’
But they ambush me
I’m wide awake

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Poetry

Last Night

The moon shone brightly
through blinded windows
Woke me
Made huge horizontal stripes
on whitewashed walls
I turned toward its familiar beauty
Smiled widely
Then wrapped in my glowing sheets
rolled back away to sleep

The moon shines on
Kabul
Soweto
and Pine Ridge too
I want to be on the moon
and wait for the earth
to rise

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