Category Archives: Poetry

I’m sorry, Ms. Heard

I am supposed to be writing about my writing space
but the snow is melting so fast
I think I can hear it.
The sun is moving west over the mountain
and its light is golden on the
winter-browned and tangled grass.
The breeze is blowing the oak tree’s branches
and the tips of them are a reddish brown
waiting to push out their new leaves.
The water is running in rivulets down the drive
and along the road; it puddles in low spots
and forms a rapid through the culvert.
At first glance, everything is destruction,
but a closer look reveals the swelling buds
that will be peach blossoms.

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Writing Hides

Writing hides in the fluffed tail of the fox
and the crushed grass under the spruce
where the fox rested for an hour.

It hides in the earthy smell of the dirt
and the miniscule celeriac seeds in the packet
that I cradle in the seed trays.

Writing hides in the browned patches of grass
and the broken lily stems in the rock garden
where the snow is slowly receding.

It hides in the earlier rise of the sun
and the lavender light on the mountain
as Spring makes its way north.

This morning’s thinking-about-writing with Georgia Heard’s book asks, “Where does writing hide?” The chapter starts with Naomi Shihab Nye’s poem “Valentine for Ernest Mann,” which I have loved since the first time it was read to me. It was my Valentine’s Day poem for my students every year, and then we wrote our own versions. Today’s is my most recent incarnation–some ideas never get too old to explore. I love that this is different every time I write it. This was an especially comforting writing today, since it’s snowing again.

Again Today

The fox came again today,
trotting along the garden fence and
making a right toward the house.
I watched him from the kitchen window,
where I was washing breakfast dishes that
I decided could wait.

He settled in an ever-expanding patch of grass
beneath one of the spruce trees, and I
settled in a crouch by the office window.
He groomed his ragged tail until
it fluffed out to twice its size, and then
gave the rest of himself a good going-over.

My knees decided we needed a different perch
so we stood at the bathroom window.
After a quarter of an hour, he curled up and
went to sleep, and I went back to dishes,
keeping my eyeglasses on and
checking on him every few seconds.

The fox slept under the tree for about an hour,
gracing us with his presence.
Though I knew that we had nothing to do with it,
I liked thinking that he felt safe with us.

The “Poetry Inside Us All”

Still following along with Georgia Heard. I didn’t quite follow directions…but those who know me probably aren’t surprised.

The Fox

Yesterday, a fox ran by the bay window
where I sat at my computer.
He was a tawny-beige,
black legs, black ears and
a black tuft where his body and tail met.
His tail was lighter, almost blonde,
with a circle of fur stripped away.
Thin and furtive, he moved with no hurry
stopping to sniff the patch of grass where
a bird lost a fight last fall.
I moved from window to window
to follow him, startled
by how close he was to the house.
Winter has been a deep freeze for weeks,
with more clouds than sun.
Watching him, I imagine that
we feel the same hunger.

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Not the best photo…but here’s the fox!