Solstice is approaching

Solstice Gift

I move toward darkness,
gather what snow brings
as pines sing their chorus
in the midnight’s wild mind.

Deep in remembrance,
the brief light glistens.
A new child comes – soft
to the meadow, the woods
the world which waits.

I candle holly, bright with
berry blessings on the breath
of every white and joyous bird
that settles in straw nests
and wings the winter wind.

The sun hungers for celebration,
for the fires of earth
which beg against the chill of dark
for an unknown gift.

I wrap this season silent
inside me, in the heat of
heart-blood, in the spark
of every star who birthed
me to this hallowed life.
Conjuring The Green Kiss

On my right side
I curl into the fetal position,
know a delicate merge will soon
bless the curtain of night
and I will disappear,
to reappear, a murmur
in some parallel place.

This, the stars promised
when they left me here
damp and bottomless,
a silver sheen deep inside;
a duplicate copy
suitable for travel,
remembrance, recollection.

And I go - come, willingly
conjure the green kiss
of bliss to greet me.
Marvel the bloom of orange
on lustrous shores,
respect the tempo of terror
for what I cannot see.

Is it age or knowledge
that makes me question
what was dream?
In which world
did diamonds sparkle,
did tarnish dull the jewels?
Am I the dream of another me?

When Days Grow Shorter
One hundred six miles north
someone turns off the telephone,
travels the short walk to the deck,
examines this world again
with new eyes, exquisite words.

One hour, forty-six minutes south,
someone else sequesters themselves
on the screened-in porch
pencil and yellow pad in hand,
translates bird-talk into human language.

Today is about dark coffee beans, a cup of tea
red tinge on the edge of maple leaves,
how tall oaks swirl yellow upon roadways
and paper-bark birch exfoliate
white skin upon sacred ground.

This day is caw and coo-oo,
crows and mourning doves,
the ch-ch-chick of mocking birds.
Swallows and swifts collect themselves,
light slants, turns buttery.

It doesn’t matter how or where the roads go.
Everywhere we watch, listen,
Prepare harvest soup and stew,
praise burgundy and orange afternoons.

Poem from assignment: write 10 lines about "I feel..." use imagery

Who Can
Touch the tears of trapped and cornered women
counting nickels for grocery money,
while their husbands down another beer at the corner bar.

Smell the songs not yet written as the river sunset
burns in orange and red and waits for nightfall,
or old modal tunes soaked into weathered wood porches.

Taste the wind which fails to rustle through August afternoons
as someone searches for a scrap of shade
beside a now-gone mountain.

Ease weary feet, heavy inside steel-toed boots at 6 PM
on the hottest day of the year.

Understand the curve of a yellow tulip, filled with fragrance,
the promise of pollen covered stigma,
the gentle mourning in its bloom.

Ignore the skin of tomorrow thinning and thinning and thinning.

Older Poem - Remember as I washed my hair this morning

The Ceremony of Hair
Today as I wash my hair I think of you,
of my Mother, of my Aunts, of my Grandmothers.
I remember lying across the red countertop,
my head at the edge of the sink,
the rolled towel beneath my neck;
I remember their hands and fingers
wrapping my hair and head with lather and
the rinse, and rinse, and rinse from the well.
I remember the hand pump at the sink
in the house down the holler,
the chill and anticipation of that water.

And I knew other sinks and tubs and
the pleasure and play of that intimate time,
my head raised in expectation and joy
and always the water,
flowing and flowing and flowing.
Afterward the long strokes of comb and
brush, the rise and fall of that cadence
as my hair gave into the rhythm
and my body joined in the rocking.

Now I think of my children.
Recall the texture of their hair
in my hands, the smallness of
a newborn head, their growth beneath
my hand over the years;
I remember length and thickness and the
twirling into spirals and spikes and other shapes,
the laughter of that time, the soapsud tears,
the tangles, the pins, the clips, the ribbons,
the rubber bands and the braids.
I know now their hands fall into
the hair of their children and I
find comfort and pleasure in that vision.

I think of all women now.
Years and years of hair and hands,
wells and springs, rivers and streams
flowing down and through
the brilliant universe of hair.
There is duty everywhere
but nothing as elegant
as this simple ceremony.

Since the mulberries are ripening I thought I'd post this poem again.

Their First Love Story - Pyramus and Thisbe

There is the sun and slight morning chill;
There are the mulberries outside the window
ripening, without instruction;
White, green, palest pink, a certain sort-of orange
moving toward red and their
soon-to-be lush darkness.

There are the mocking birds and blue jays
eager among the branches
their choral delights fill the open window,
praise from the uncoached throat;
The silk of ordinary miracles spins.
There is the sun and a slight morning chill.

Praying at Dawn

Praying at Dawn

At dawn, a ruckus of ravens
tangles into my dreams
and wakes me into the light
of a violet sugar morning.
This house, wraps its wings around me
quiet and smooth as aged leather.
My body, still sweet from the lavender
soap of last night’s bath,
sings itself
into whatever may come.
I listen for the jazz-soul
soundtrack of my life.
And offer the same morning prayer
as the yellow iris,
the budding peach tree
and the un-mown grass.

The Angel of Sudden Thunderstorms


Enters with grandeur and trumpets blaring;

A sudden visitor on summer days,

A mystery which whistles through February.


Lights bruised green meadows,

Changes skies into a celebration 

Fit for the Grandfathers who bless everything.


Pirouettes across picnics blankets,

Scatters children and chicken-salad sandwiches

Like so many November leaves.


Baptizes blue, white and red parades,

Strikes fear in domestic dogs and insecure humans,

Offers some kind of salvation for the insane;


Wears a rainbow robe, a lightening halo.

This angel comes to the dreamers, the sleepers,

The turtles waiting to wake in the mud.