Nighttime Caper Equals Morning Mystery


Someone strung diamonds on the spartina.
A task which indeed required hours and
thousands of workers. Certainly, they did it in the dark
so as the sun rose glints would fly from the edge of every blade.
Truly, this was a Herculean job. Not for the weak or the lazy.

Possibly the Marsh Hens did it with their long bills,
they are, most likely, good with a needle and thread.
But if they did not do it, perhaps the wren with her nimble
feet, which cling to each upright stalk, was the culprit.

Oh, I am sure it was the wren because she was there
as the sun rose over the horizon. However, there
is also the probability that there are fairy folk living
with us, building houses in the alluvial muck of the estuary.
But no one sees them, so, perhaps it was the Mallards who
masterminded it all. After all, I saw their webbed
footprints in trails across the lawn.

Yes, it must have been the Mallards. They are always bossy.
Quacking at everybody. Stopping traffic so they may waddle
across the road down to the lagoon. Yes, I’m sure the Mallards
directed it, but the question remains, whose agile work left
acres of precious gems there only for my delight?
Who are the mignons of this night-time alliance that
results in my early morning joy?


Holding a Dead Rattlesnake by flickr Creative Commons User JeffreyW

I remember the day at summer camp
when we caught the rattlesnake.
Beheaded it. Skinned it. Tossed the body.

Stretched the hide. Nailed to wood.
Poured salt on the skin
and placed it in the sun to dry.

I imagine the glistening bundles of muscle
shimmering in the sunlight
dappled with a pattern of leaves and the occasional cloud.
Now useless. They lie on a bed of forest decay.
Fluids which once carried oxygen and nutrients
ooze onto the litter of nature;
Debris of a less obvious struggle.

I can’t remember the snake’s struggle to survive.
Don’t recall a baring of fangs for defense.
Or what we did with the head.
But I do remember the beauty of the stretched skin
with its patterns and scales and my wonder at the ease with which we
denuded the snake of it and claimed it as our own.

Photo credit: flickr user jeffreyw

Stitched With Silk

Judith Shea-Sculpture-Post-Balzac-Photo by flickr creative commons user krossbow

Today, I put on your love
like an overcoat
to protect me from the wind
and keep me warm.
You weren’t around
but you left it for me to use
when I needed it.

It was quite comfy and full
with plenty of room
to move around
and reach for things
without tearing at the armholes.

Not like the coat I wore before,
large and shapeless
cast off from someone else
with many pockets
for holding all my tricks
which banged into my legs as I walked
and wore me down
and tired me out
with their weight.

But like my own skin.
Tailored to fit me.
Cut from the finest fabric
and stitched with silk.

Photo credit: Judith Shea, Sculpture, Post-Balzac, Photo by flickr creative commons user krossbow

Light Gatherer

Spring in the snow

I have lived a cluster of sterling days
chased with silver light. Radiance
bounces from crystalline snow
halos your hair lending
you a glorified look. Your smile shifts
Transmuted it flies to tiny dendrites
transformed into electrical jolt
felt at the base of my spine
it radiates to extremities
I capture your shoulders
grasp hard, compose my lips,
close the gap.

Photo credit: stock.xchng user bcch

Poem for My Son

Ivy Halls of Accomplishment

From the days before your conception, I heard you calling to me,
asking for birth, life, and time to accomplish.
That you had god as your intermediary, was not astonishing,
because as soon as I heard your call, I heard god sanction your being.

You, took command of my body, became flesh. Born into the world,
you were impatient to move. Walking the floor with you raging
in my arms, I announced, “he is not like this,”
he is quieter, still, in his core.” You mastered words and people,
gathered the elements of becoming, grew into a child
who observed, the vagaries of the world.

One who with prescience knew others,
your mind encompassed unseen parts of their being
astounded us all. We were not surprised when you made
pronouncements with full confidence, unlike other children,
“I will play tennis,” (and you did not know how.)
“I will go away to school.” (and you couldn’t have found your way to North Charleston.)

You knew yourself, in a way that few elders can, that the young never do.
You rarely showed your fears, making us all think you might be infallible,
but then, in the crux, yielding to human fears
fretting over your choices, your desires of going on.

But you have gone on, you have prospered and you are the man
whom I saw in the first instance of your call to me from the deeps
of dwelling with god. You are yourself, more profound,
more heartfelt and more real than my hopes
could ever make you.


BW Jericho Image

It is all I have ever wanted,
to live in harmony—in a peace
that vibrates,
a palpable resonance
through common people.

as in ancient times,
aligned harmonies
break down walls
with the horn blast
of humanity. Trumpeting
divinity of tramping feet.


Red Maples by CTD 2005 Flickr Creative Commons

There is a quiet moment
when winter moves aside
and spring begins
secret and obscure
it hides
known to initiates
holding full glory
of the new season
in newly formed hands

In mystery
arching and straight
stark as branching veins
against the flat sky
small trees lift their
growing edges
to be transformed
from sienna to burgundy
by the warmth and light
of an eternal star.

Red maples slowly uncoil
their blossoms
promise of fruitfulness
chancing cold
frost tinged air
they rise in union
with the opening world

Photo credit: flickr creative commons user Ctd 2005