Posts Tagged 'poem'

A walk without photos

Today, in-between rainstorms, I walked 7 short blocks
Past graveyard stones, over crushed white gravel,
Down the driveway that was once a country lane.

The neighborhood had many simple lawns, with ruby
Velvet spires of coleus glowed, their soft leaves
A surprise behind prim pickets and boxwood.

Some yards ran riot with flowers, tempting skippers
And bumble bees to sample mountain mint, herbs. 
Some had peppers, beans, Swiss chard in neat box beds.

Dog walkers were briskly jogging with purpose.
But I slipped outside to stroll by others' gardens,
Watching when the Monarch butterflies took wing.

— © rjn, 14 August 2020


grasses snow

When clouds reach down to touch the trees,
Their sides snag on tree branches
Dragging against edges until —
Tear, rip, torn —
They spill onto the fields.
Snow drifts against the hedgerows.

© rjn, January 11, 2018

Quick notes on the poem: this was written after watching grey clouds race low across the sky, then seem to struggle in the trees on top of a hill. In the struggle, they dumped snow in an abrupt misty downpour. By the end, the clouds had disappeared into the other clouds above them. All that was left was a fine grit of snow over everything.

If I were a cartoonist, I would have drawn the snow squall as cloud ghosts who were wringing their hands and wailing, while the edges of their wrappings got tangled in the branches.


I live in the city now, where street lights,
House lights, glowing red then green then amber lights
Block the stars from the world.
Even though I knew there was too much light noise
I walked into the yard to squint with hands up
To block security’s glare from the next house, and wondered

Was that one?

Was that?

And doubted my own eyes…

Memory conjured up cool meadows by forests
Where we used to camp….When woken by parents, I
Struggled out of my cocooned sleep,
Eyes not quite awake,
To look at the sky. I sat and watched stars dash across my limits
Until I reluctantly looked away, and walked back from a dream.

Clouds crossed the skies on Friday, but still I waited,
Knowing if I turned away, a meteor would streak the sky
Like a fingernail thru frost.

— rjn, 13 August 2016

Vantage points

In life, there are different perspectives…
Hearts beat to different times,
Memories are caught in grand moments
— or small —
That we cannot explain to others, as though trapped
In a Faulkner novel that repeats

That repeats
That re-beats

Until it falls out of memory and skips back to
Moving forward.
With just one timeline to light our steps.

 ©rjn, 13 April 2016

The morning shines

“….The morning shines,

Nor heedeth Man’s Perverseness; Spring returns, —

I saw the Spring return, and could rejoice,

In common with the children of her love,

Piping on boughs, or sporting on fresh fields,

Or boldly seeking pleasure nearer heaven

On wings that navigate cerulean skies.”

— William Wordsworth, The Prelude – Book Twelve, lines 31-37.

My edition is the Rinehart Edition possibly from 1954.

More later, when WordPress lets me post again. Some of this is divine, and some of it is Wordsworth channeling every single Freshman at University who suddenly realizes he can “feel” things.Lilacia

A slice of light lingering

A sharp slice of paper

Or a too wide Cheshire Cat grin —

Tonight’s half moon shines bright

Cutting through the dark, while its fading face,

Lingers behind the night.

© rjn, November 30, 2011

It’s probably a cricket anyway… actually the cats were right

Tonight, I’ve left the hunters to their own devices;

I’ve headed early to bed with hot milk, hoping for sleep.

Behind me, the cats huddle in pairs,

Furry bodies pressed against the floors,

Eyes fixed beneath the plant stand.

From tails to shoulders… they prey for mice,

While I — emphatically — pray for none.

— rjn © September 6, 2011

PS: it isn’t often that 2 of the cats decide to hunt together. I don’t know if I should be intrigued or concerned.

PPS: Dateline one half hour into September 7th. I have removed the mouse using an upended jelly jar and pushing it along the floor — the little invader had to run run run his little legs while i slid the jar over him and marched him out the back door. All 3 cats’ prayer lives are evidently more effective than mine. However, I got to play deus ex machina while alternating between praising the cats and saying “icky icky icky.”

Springtime arrived

Springtime arrived

With riots of red, pink, blue blooms,

All jostling in the daylight.

While at night, the white roses

Gleamed and the scent of phlox

Insinuated into the sky.

(C) rjn, May 27, 2011

the color of the earth fades to the sky

These are the days the earth begins to fade,

The leaves fall from the trees, dropping like

Scarlet lacquer on the saw grass…  like amber

Gems on black pavement. Their beauty turns

Brown, to dust — and the bare branches and

Hilltop towns are ink sketches against

A sky painted by a Master.

© rjn, 2010

Rail cars

Noontime, at the overpass,

The sweep of cars stretched
Along the track. Underneath,
The blue engine, then blue cars rumbled
Through, westward, each car empty,
shivering with black dust.
I stood, and watched as empty cars stretched
From east to west horizons,
Heading for cheap
Electricity, cheap fuel, cheap resources,
Ignoring the cost of plumes
of black dust.

I left before the last car, the final connection.

© rjn April 14, 2010

(My brain has had “Amazing Grace” via bagpipers on autoplay all day. My thoughts and prayers [for what they’re worth] are with those grieving in West Virginia.)