Quiet Cicadas

October 31, 2016

The day is different
My heart slows to the crickets faint click
As I realize the cicadas are gone

I Designed My House

October 31, 2016

I designed my house
One hewn chestnut log at a time
Mixed with straight poplar
A plaza from Spain
Enclose by structure,
A secret gate, covered in jasmine
A fountain,
A row of small bedrooms
An arched walkway
A garden sink from Mexico
A clothesline and outdoor shower

Zinnias ands mint
Herbs in graceful patterns
A library and mud room
Shaker shelves
Hooks for our coats
A lone bench
A music room

It is extravagant

Yet functional too
And open to strangers

I do not ask for much
One sheep, one horse, one goat
I want no Ostrich or rows of corn
One ear will suffice
One golden yellow

I want what is simple
A plain house
A smooth hearth
A bowl of hearty soup
One loaf of wheat berry bread

One pair of shoes
Boots that are flexible
One skirt, long
One purple sash

I want what is lovely
Light through lace curtains
A desk and a pen
An old farm table
A grandchild to feed

I do not ask for banana trees
Or avocados
Or fancy anything
But love, fearless and true

I want you.

The Little Girl Is Quaint

October 29, 2016

The little girl is quaint
Born in the wrong time
In her prairie clothes and pioneer boots

She wears thick stockings
Thick blonde braids
Carries a daisy in her hand

Roams the grasses
Seeks the high plains
The mystery of the Divide

Rivers run beneath her
Springs bubble up
Offering arrowheads of Quartz and flint

She picks one up
Slips serrated edges into her pocket for good luck
Continues against the wind.

I Long to be Shady Grove

October 29, 2016

I long to be Shady Grove
Little bare feet on the floor
A big fat horse and
Corn to feed him on
A pocketknife
A man in slippers

I long to be Shady Grove
Running to the orchard each morning
To smell the blossoms
To imagine the fruit and golden jars set in the deep windowsill

I long to be Shady Grove
the purist Queen of his Heart
I long to knit with a cradle before me
For a loom, a kettle, a hearth

I will be Shady Grove
You just watch
the apple of ONE MAN’s Eye
The prettiest picture of happiness
The Promised Land after the Wilderness.

Pine trees
With their scrubby shallow roots
Let go of the red clay easily
As mules pull them down
Drag them to a heap to be burned

The neighbors smell the smoke rising
And wonder at its worth

Sanguine talk leads to action
Around the kitchen table of my ancestors
The night approaches
Kerosene lanterns are lit
Before the mountain lost to all but them erodes

They dream as only farmers can
Of experiments in the soil
New roots buried and tucked into shelter
In uneven circular rows

The Peach trees grow
Their stakes ground them
Their blossoms promise hope

Around the table
This time in the morning
Over hoecakes and sorghum syrup
The wise ones wait and till
Chop weeds and water
Their bushel baskets ready to fill

The Mountain is Lost
Though one can see it from Dallas, Mars Hill, even Marietta
It disappears like a ghost as one draws near

The Peach trees sigh
They are overestimated
They cannot will not thrive

Their fruit,
Golden as the Isles and rich in ferment
Dry like apricots set in the sun

They will not be harvested
The settlers will try again.

Prayer and the Election

October 29, 2016

Drum beats count down days
In rhythm with minutes
hourglass polls
Voting booths
Feet March
Muskets raise
As October sways

I love my country
The Continental Divide
I will not rest
Until we are one

I weep
I mourn
I pray


October 25, 2016

The lines are blurred
Boundaries broken
As day and night merge

Dreams blanket my spirit
Hard to distinguish
The sleep
The wakeful birth

I dreamed of a man under the moon
A friend from long ago
He left his cloister
To join me in dancing
He smiled and wore a coat

Hank’s wedding reception is in full swing
Dancers crowd the floor
Sam is exultant
His brother is married
I watch in awe.

Legs carry joy
Shift to the rhythm
While young arms thrash the air
I stare in amazement
freedom before me
Dancing without a care.