At the insistence of the small brown wren,
the April sun agrees to rise
and listen to her trilling song.
Great gray stones leave the bank of the river,
stacked with their brethren
between the old cedar trees.
One upon one,
they stand together, shoulder
in deep, masculine force.
Over decades, they settle.
Some, restless, move again
toward the river.
Most hold fast, remembering
*** We went out after the last storm and our old rock wall had fallen. The chipmunks had loosened the soil, giving the rain a place to wash out behind the stones. And it just gave way.
We will restack and make it whole again, but who knows how long ago those stones had been carted up from the river and stacked with their brethren.
One by one,
the evening stars ignite,
torched by dusk’s retreat
The celestial lamplighter whistles,
sweet and low,
his lullabies to the evening stars
as he makes his way across the night’s sky.
Sweet and low,
he croons his twilight tune
as the stars hover,
Come, take my hand,
we will race the stars
to the ridgetop
and sing his lullabies
to the moon,
sweet and low.
The disc turns the soft fragrant earth
across the spring fields while
small moon faced calves caper
whisking their tails in triumphant and ridiculous joy.
you dress in Edens green,
(you Eve, you Adam)
drawing us into the garden
from which we all fled-
where moon faced angels
caper at each fence post,
their wings tangled in sweet honeysuckle
and ridiculous joy.
Gray morning, the last dawning
of this long winter,
from across the water, the sound
of clear silvered piping-
Spring progresses slowly
with her troop
of minstrel robins.
She is wreathed in yellow
fresh and tender,
early buds of warming sun.
the laughter of tulips
and the bashfulness of daffodils,
We woke to deep fog.
Air so thick with moisture, water droplets formed on everything. We were drenched just taking our early morning walk with Theo.
As the clouds began to lift and the morning began to brighten, the brilliantly clear and LOUD song of a wren pierced the misty air.
As more of the fog receded and the sky became brighter, the louder her song. She was very proud of her effort and continued in full throated triumph until the sun had broken through and the skies revealed the beautiful sapphire blue of late winters day.
small brown wren
in glorious song
singing as if she alone is responsible
for the rising of the sun
In Like a Lion
It seems that the rotation of the earth
speeds up and
gravity is loosened just a bit
as the gusts pull
at everything standing.
The creaks and moans
of the buffeted trees
carry across the ridge
with flying leaves
from swaying blackjack oaks.
Whips of forsythia
slice yellow over their heads
while the daffodils
hold onto their bonnets
and small birds hide
in the pollen sugared cedars.
back in the shack
by John Matthew Waters
you’ll find it in the middle of somewhere
surrounded by a fog in a field of woods
discoverable through a natural maze
filled with a variety of wildflowers
walking through the door you swear
you became someone other than yourself
and the moment you sit and open your mind
the shack is filled with a beautiful light
copyright j matthew waters
A good friend wrote a wonderful poem this week and on reading it, I was instantly carried back to our old home, the last really good shack.
John’s poem beautifully describes the feeling I have for that house and how it changed me in the decade we lived there.
I don’t know if I have told you much about any of that personal stuff. How a city girl fell so head over heels in love with a rocky piece of land on the side of any Ozarks ridge and the worn out old shack that clung to the side of that ridge.
Just as the poem says, it was in the middle of somewhere, but somehow completely separate from the world around it.
There, the world revealed its magic to me and I was an enraptured pupil.
I would walk that steep acreage almost daily, visiting the blackberry brambles, or the wild dog roses, or the frog pond at the top of the ridge nestled in a grove of black ash trees. I found each spot that the wild ferns grew, knowing that if I dug there under that rocky soil, a spring would bubble up to the surface.
I knew where the deer rested with their fawns and where the squirrels hid their harvest of black walnuts. I learned how the sun moved along the eastern ridge during the seasons and, at night, we were mesmerized by the visits of comets and meteorites.
With Bob’s skill, we created a home out of a hovel, adding what everyone who visited will still tell you was the best porch in all of history. My mom called it the healing place. I said it was the navel of the universe where all possible good resided.
It was visited by friends and family, and an occasional angel.
And in those ten years, I learned more about myself than in any other decade. I made choices that have changed me, and changed my path in life. I became more spiritual and open, more aware of my place in the universe.
I became a better wife, daughter and friend.
And all these changes came about from lessons I learned while we lived in the last really good shack.
And I am grateful for each minute I lived there.
A special thank you to John Matthew Waters for his gracious permission to use his wonderful poem, ‘back in the shack’. You can read his poetry on his website jdubqca.com and his twitter account @jdubqca.