A Walk by the Pond
~ for a Great Blue Heron rising
Dusky sun slants on slow, gray water. A ruffling in the brush, a swoop of air, a delft raincloud raises its fringed cape and pulls forward as pewter wings arc wide. A form, ancient and wild, rises. Gangling legs trail as leathered sinews stretch. Prussian-hued feathers, fold, extend, sweep, ess-ed neck reaches and recoils into hunched shoulders. The wing does its work. Yellow beak arrows toward the low sun, one thin black streak streams back from the crest. Narrow head tilts, lifts, The great blue bird bursts gravity’s grip and makes for the cobalt clouds.
1st Place, Poetry Society of Indiana Award
Published in ENCORE – 2021
In the beginning the earth was unformed and void.
On the first day I was a child playing alone in the sandbox. On the second day I met you, and the world shifted just a little. On the third we conceived sons who were born in great waves of wonder. On the fourth they grew tall and waved goodbye as they left for college and the world. And on the fifth we held grandchildren high in the air and measured their progress in pencil on the closet doorframe. On the sixth day we grew gray, wrote poems and went for walks that took forty years. On the seventh day we rested on memories and laurels and riverbanks. And whatever shall we do next week, my dear?
2nd Place award, Boardwalk Gallery,
Published in The Paths We Take
The Language of Crows
When you are far I hear you in the language of crows calling dawn into the lightening sky, inky night distilled into feathers, wings, onyx eye. In memory I see you clamber across branches after chittering squirrels and teasing crows. Watch your feet, I say, a talisman against broken bones. Now you can name every muscle and bone that held you strong, high enough to see the whole world as you perched in the maple's red canopy. You are fully fledged. Now the mountain holds you, bestows its old knowledge to your fingers, your sinews. Listen, it says. I will tell you what you have always wanted to know, in the language of seasons, of tea, of silence. When words fail I still hear you in the language of crows.
Editor’s Pick — Published in Pooled Ink
for Emily Dickinson
“A foolish tree, to dote on summers gone…”
from “Winter Leafage,” by Edith Matilda Thomas, 1887
This dead cottonwood haunts me, warning, take nothing for granted. Spring is not given to all. Burgeoning is not a demand we can make to the gods. There is no summer glory for trunks wrapped in Lethe’s embrace. Standing silver among its supple sisters, did it choose to renounce the effort of blooming? Or did the cold gods decree, “This is your time to forget the flutter of malachite, emerald, jade.” Hope is not the thing with feathers, but leaves, argent, reaching for the rain.
Finalist for ACC Writers Studio prize