the dog and I – an evening walk


twilight lingers in the treetops
the dog and I try not to stare
as the bats give web wing into the beckoning air
such grace and sturdy stretch of flesh and bone
un-feathered bird and night masked soul
they blindly dance into the paths of stars

the dog and I walk the violet deepening path
lanterns of fireflies inflame the slim crescent moon
casting reflections of the once and future dawn
she is the mirror of the suns musings
choicest tomes are recited in her presence
while bashful boys make cow eyes at her pale face
and swear oaths to her silvered beauty

the dog and I loiter in the glimmering dusk
listening to the poetry of wing and moon
waxing and waning
as we slowly make our way home
in the darkling summer night

summer morning magic

Solstice sunrise 2014

morning clouds smooth out the blued eyed sky
shaking out the nights wrinkled sheets of stars
and wandering constellations
lifting the heavy white curtains
of fragrant lilies
sending their fresh washed scent
across the dawning day
humid haze catches the mist
and the swallows hovering over the still water
in the summer meadow
dew spangled webs
glisten in the crystal light
soon invisible
the magic of a summer morning

of time and the idea of rivers

barely breaking the waters tension
she floats between earth and sky
reflecting on the waters meaning
and the passage of time
fossilized in stone
and etched in wings of dragonflies

where will the rivers take her
coursing at the speed of her heartbeat
its one and the same
drift and flow
years and rainfall
swelling of days
and overflowing the banks of memory

time is not linear
but river-full
rapid and slow
with enough tension
in the waters body
to make her way to the sea


Is it too trite
to write
that the river
is a
for our love?
And to use the old saying that
you never step into the same river twice?
Because it is

Driving through the dark Ozarks night,
following the hollows along the river,
a young couple in our headlights-
wet, walking hand in hand-
coming up from a midnight swim.
Suddenly, I am transported-
I am that girl-
shy, bold and holding your hand,
feeling your wet skin for the first time,
the rush of the river,
the rush of the new.
Then, I laugh, seeing myself
reflected in your laughing eyes
illuminated by the dashboard lights.
We drive towards home,
splashing in the river.

*** this was written a few years ago – but since I am dreaming of rivers – thought I would reprise it.

on waking from a dream of rivers


tangled in filament
fishing lures weighted down by memory
and forgetfulness

I ramble thru the weeds and rushes
counting damsel fly wings
and catfish whiskers

haze draws blue against the fragrant cedars
the color of frost in the heat of the morning

and my skin smells of fish scales
and my hair, the wildness of the rivers glory

the road is too dusty so
I follow maps drawn by dragonflies
cartography etched in delicate wings

the waters coursing
blood veined tributaries
ebbing and rising
ventricles and aortas
scribed deep blue across the parchment

and my skin smells of mussel shells
and my hair, the glory of the rivers wildness

*** I have been dreaming almost every night recently, of rivers and moving water. Thought this interpretation was interesting and hit pretty close to home.

‘Rivers – Rivers symbolize your journey in life whether its physical or spiritual one. If the river water is flowing fast it can mean rapid changes might occur soon. It is also possible that you feel out of control in your life and need to slow down. If the river is calm and peaceful it means being comfortable with the changes in your waking life.’

she is the river

she is the river
I float on infinite water
and wake with the smell
of her wildness in my hair

how many waters have I waded
rivers of my childhood
red, brazos, ouchita
their waters clear
their names liquid
sabine, elk, current
how many waters have I waded
rivers of my dreams
ganges, thames, nile
their waters dark
their names mystery
yukon, mekong, volga

drifting in the flow
she circumnavigates my forehead
and I spill my thoughts into her body
her strong sacred waters
mother of the seas
she is the river

Hymn of the Ozarks

May sunrise

Ancient continental spine
her land deep rutted, hollows
cut deep, retreating from steep ridges,
above ageless streams and rivers.
She is my home
Not born but adopted
child of hard scrabble rockfilled ridges
and deep green spring cooled hollows.
I have felt her heartbeat
from the instant my foot touched
her hard soil
and my eyes saw
a color not known until that day -
the blueness
of her October sky.
I was beckoned as if I knew her
and my soul was drawn to this promised land.
She is my home, ancient and new,
from her craggy stone breast
and fragrant sassafras woods
she calls me-
blood deep.

the long way home

November Sunset

we took the long way home
following the hailstorm
front moving east across the ridges
deep blue clouds receded
thru the winding forest road
the smell of torn vegetation
leaves stripped from trees
limbs hanging, dangling from trunks
sun glared low in the west
an interloper in the woods
canopies opened to the harsh light
where just moments before
green shade thick with foliage
kept watch over the hidden hollows

she fell
energy stripped green from
dangling limbs
deep blue bruises an affront
with each movement
a clot, an interloper
questions unanswered
we search our way
through deep woods
traveling with her
on her long way home

Household God

For my dad, John L. Gresham,
He is missed every day.
Happy Father’s Day – I love you

Household God

You were a household god,
Not a faraway god in heaven’s vault
But a jovial Jove
Full of life and power.
I sprang from your forehead,
Not fully Athena
But to become Wisdom
And Responsible
And Chosen.
Your ego was Olympian,
Thunderbolts would fly from your fury,
Then all Justice and Mercy.
A bacchanalian god–
Wine flowing as we danced in the kitchen.
I worshiped at your feet
When you lay mortally wounded,
Your life your Achilles heel.
I worship you still
With the laughing spirit you are
Now and forever. Amen.