Red in Tooth and Stamen, by Debi Swim

Red in Tooth and Stamen
by Debi Swim

Consider the lily of the field
which neither toils nor spins
Consider the Giant Hogweed
family of Queen Anne’s Lace

Consider the giant water-bug
of ponds, marshes and streams
Consider the small house cat
domesticated, purring feline
Consider nature and her splendor
and remember her hazards
Consider that there is beauty
yet jeopardy dwelling in each
benign and treacherous
So, tread charily upon earth
for even into Eden crept peril
amidst the splendor and glory.

Process Notes: Annie Dillard’s book, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, gave me a new perception on nature and the nature of creation. As I’ve gotten older, I have been able (somewhat) to come to terms with life and its inconsistencies and its treacheries. I have a friend who wrings her hands and demands of God to fix this and fix that. I’m not against prayer but I’m beginning to think God just might know better than me. Whether He made a perfect world and we screwed it up or whether He made the world so that we would have to tread softly, I don’t know. The reality is we don’t have a perfect world and so, we tread charily and with respect.

Debi Swim lives in beautiful southern West Virginia where she persistently writes to great prompts from around the web.

Hanging Up the Sickle, by Debi Swim

Hanging Up the Sickle
by Debi Swim

I sowed my youth
in naïve dreams
crystal castles in the air
came crashing down
to rebound
and live a life
I’m satisfied with
and yet
I think of the times
I held back
played it safe
out of fear, duty, religion
And maybe I didn’t
square bale the moon
preserve the stars
pickle a rainbow
from my garden
when I could
… and
the field lies fallow now
I’ll not plant again
but live on the bounty
of star dust and rainbows
caught and clutched
close to my heart
from those green years.

Process note: “The true harvest of my life is intangible – a little star dust caught, a portion of the rainbow I have clutched.” Henry David Thoreau

Debi Swim lives in beautiful southern West Virginia where she persistently writes to great prompts from around the web.

We’re Parked in Cupboards, by Misky Braendeholm

We’re Parked in Cupboards
by Misky Braendeholm

I took a chair to the window,
listened to the silence. It was
sharp and thin as mountain air.
The world has nowhere to go.

Our cars parked up in cupboards,
the trains are off their tracks,
planes downed by something
in the air. We’re all parked up.

I watched the middle tree of
three bending long in the wind.
Next spring, I think I’ll crowd
the window boxes with colour.

Process notes: As Covid numbers increase and we’re all threatened with another lock-down, I look toward Spring and make plans for the garden.

Misky Braendeholm’s work is regularly published in monthly issues of Waterways in the Mainstream – Ten Penny Players, Visual Verse, and Right Hand Pointing.