Plant Growth Leaf Green Sprout  - shadi6454 / Pixabay


Smoke has barely risen off the scorched earth,

yet I can sense it.

A tremulous green sprout,

shuddering in the hot wind.

I almost feel sorry for the first sign of life

after a controlled burn.

Worried and, at the same time, curious.

I bend down for a closer look.

Paper thin leaves, a wisp of a stalk;

they struggle to wrestle nutrients from ash.

“What happened to you?” I ask,

“better yet, how are you surviving?”

The plant makes no response,

so I pause a moment in contemplation.

Then I hear it.

The small cries of the sprout rise to a roar,

sweeping over me – hot, holy flames

of an ancient consciousness.

“To die to oneself is to be born again.

Awaken, arise, and sing.”

I could pretend to understand what these words mean,

if I wasn’t in mourning for the tender sprout.

Like the duende dancers speak of,

destruction flirting with the hem of ecstasy’s skirt,

the plant is walking a tightrope line

between extinction and existence.

“What if you die?” I shout.

“Oh, but what if I live?” the sprout sings.

The plant has a point,

a reason for being which I am sorely lacking.

“You’ve been through hell,” I say.

“Yes,” it replies. “I was close to despair.

The fire split my seed apart,

and I lay in the soil for days, silent.

Next the rains came,

and after that the golden light.”

Imprisonment as a means to an end?

God, if I haven’t been ignorant, blind.

The pungent air holds mystery,

and the word paradox comes to mind.

Pain is sacred when we open ourselves to it,

and allow the light to shine inside.

This plant is smarter than I am.

It transforms ash to beauty,

without giving a second thought to the strain.

An innocent gift of pure happenstance.

I touch the leaves and it sings.

My heart trembles in reply.


Clover Leaves Forest Moss Nature  - KRiemer / Pixabay


I have been thinking

about lifting

like the three-lobed leaves

of the potted shamrock 

on my counter.


They rise and fall

with the cycle of the sun.

When I first realized 

this is what they were doing,

I was awestruck.


If I were a shamrock,

I would spend the entire night

longing for the flow of energy

up my stems

that would fling my leaves aloft.


What I mean is,

can I count on hope

to always be there?

We trust the sun to rise,

even when a storm darkens the horizon.


The fire of it burns

regardless of our ability

to see it behind the clouds.

We may not feel its warmth,

but we know it’s there.


Spider-web delicate roots

drink hope from the soil

and by an invisible sun’s power,

shuttle it through trusting stems.

I raise my hands.


The sky opens,

raining hope.



They say death is final.
Yes, in a way, they’re right.
Consider love’s strength, though,
how hard I’ve seen you fight.

Creeping stiffness threatened
your will to hold a brush.
You painted anyway
from your wheelchair, in no rush.

I bought a bag for you
to carry all your stuff.
Hair clippings fell inside
and if that weren’t enough,

you left something else, too.
A token of your love.
Precious gift of color
shed by a heavenly dove.

Death couldn’t hold you back.
I know your spirit’s free!
Or why else would you send
that li’l blue feather to me?


Ocean Birds Sea Sunset Paradise  - Layers / Pixabay


A poem is 
a capricious
as a feather,
as the rain
on your parched
don’t act;
not just yet.
the words
too soon
and it’s liable
to disappear.
No, you must
use care.
Ask what
it means,
stay open,
Your will is quick
to impose
The poem is
not aware,
until it is.
That’s the moment
you wait for.
Absence of ego,
tide of 
of singular
You must not
hold back then.
Focus, and
beg the poem
not to change.

Forest Trail Autumn Path Trees  - Kemkes / Pixabay


On an evening in late November,
the woods surrounding me lead on.
Though twisted, the path is familiar.
I spot a white flare among the trees
and realize I’ve startled a fawn.

The sight carries me deeper inside
the mystery of the woods I traverse —
how the sounds are hardly evident,
and if my mind was on something else,
I’d easily miss this universe.

There’s a kingdom amid the branches
of flickering wings and delicate calls.
If only I could ascend and stay,
draped in leaves the color of velvet,
deep wine-red the loveliest of all.

The longer I remain, the lower the sun sets.
Ringed by a fiery twilight,
the colors imprint on my mind.
Brightest orange, peach, and lavender,
their language the sound of my heart’s flight.

Feather Plumage Peacock Lightweight  - emminum / Pixabay


I am a cut-glass meteor
showering sparks through the sky,

shaking the firmament as I rise
a colorful contrail streaming behind.

I am a dazzling peacock
fanning his feathers on display.

Kaleidoscopic iridescence, both
frivolity and function in full sway.

No impediment can contain me,
I am chapter, verse, and rhyme.

Mind’s ear to the page, I listen,
fastening on magic every time.

Bird Tree Summer Tanager Nature  - RonaldPlett / Pixabay


A flame of scarlet
among the branches
peering down below,
you see me standing,
gazing at you with
my binoculars.

You don’t fly away,
but you flit closer,
curious and calm,
crest feather aloft.

Pit-ti-tuck, you call,
pit-ti-tuck again.
Your head swivels ’round,

forest in your sight.

Great, gleaming landscape,
green, earthly delight.
Speak to me once more
before you take flight.
I long to capture
a glimpse of the world
as perceived by one
so seemingly slight.
Frog Toad Amphibian Tree Frog  - CassidyMarshall / Pixabay


Dimpled brown skin
and jet black eyes –
the way you stare,
you seem so wise.
Creamy, soft belly
melts in my hand,
I can hardly
resist you – 
tiny fingers
and long, grippy toes.
What are you thinking?
Your throat gives a chirp.
I could hold you
marvel at your colors,
your intricate design.
You leap from my grasp.
I can still feel your cool.
Hidden in the grass,
tiny little jewel.

Bluebird Bird Eastern Bluebird  - Naturelady / Pixabay


To catch sight of
his azure flash
swooping in flight
is always a
quiet surprise.

Herald of spring,
sign of good luck,
both are true, yes.
More to the point
is that a bird
can be so blue.

Color of sky,
a painter’s hue –
so out of place
amid the trees.
He’s not aware
he isn’t brown,
neutral, or tan.

Thoughts lifted high,
he soars with ease.
His heart is full,
completely free.

Calligraphy pen tip


A poet deals in words – 
their rhythms, sounds, and curves
delight him to no end.
He cherishes their meaning,
strings them out one by one,
then rearranges them –
his work is never done.

For he always thinks of one
who said it better than him – 
a turn of phrase or metaphor
more delicately spun.
He reads to fill his days,
the masters’ genius he imbibes.

But does he copy them?
Oh no, not ever.
He wouldn’t dream of it.
Though one might argue that
by imitation, he survives.