Ode To the Beasts of Maxwell Hall

Hearth is the heart, 
     warmth,
     fire,
     raging and tranquil.
Gathering us together,
     we warm ourselves by its flame.

Suckling bosom of knowledge, 
     a hall of words,
     books and catalog cards.
Legal debates pulling reason in opposite directions,
     but never too far from the center
     of cold limestone turned warm
     by wood of surrounding land.

The dragon leads the menagerie,
     two heads with sight of towers
     where grotesques and serpents
     keep watchful eye
     on all who enter.

Serpents taking flight at night,
     playing in darkness
     as they slither from transom to transom,
     never touching the floors of men.

Grotesques howling and flapping their wings
     as though in discussion,
     as though in defense of the shield they bear
     for love of building,
     and craft,
     and university.

Yet the dragon is the seer,
     the knower,
     the one with thought and knowledge
     too powerful to expose.

Does he envy the others’ views of the hills?
Or does he find solace in hearing the whispers,
     the secrets, 
     the plans of women who now grace
     his throne with beauty?

Art now conquers the cold limestone,
     while humanities compete with the science of masons.
But with transcendent words
     our beloved beast changes, 
     studies,
     creates.

Words devoured by the dragon, 
     it feeds on new dreams,
     new hearts, 
     new love for its majestic survival.

As I leave this place, 
     these grounds,
     this building.
I whisper to the protectors
     my gratitude,
     my respect.

I tell them of my jealous heart
     that cannot grasp the treasures
     only they consume.
 

11 September: A remembrance poem

I wrote this poem on the anniversary of 9/11 while working our local farmers market. A time to reflect the attacks that day, and a time to think about my fellow brothers & sisters in military service who lost their lives over the last twenty years while serving on foreign land.


11 September

twenty years have come and passed,
     fades of existence,
     ghosts reminisced.
souls lost and never forgotten
     as our hearts and minds
     break with the wind.

twenty years of conflict ended
     with lines of flags
     and tombstones
     and medals.
more of our finest killed in war
     than on that day, 

thousands on our soil,
thousands on theirs.

that day,
     those hours,
     three fields,
     death and destruction.
charred planes,
     fallen buildings,
     only memories to be found
     in the dust of the attack.

as family,
     we mourn.

as a nation,
     we mourn.

as human,
      we cry.

Indiana University Exhibit

The opening date is set! The exhibit will be at the Gayle Karch Cook Center for Public Arts and Humanities, Indiana University, Bloomington, Maxwell Hall, beginning September 22nd, and will feature a variety of artists and media formats. 

I'll be exhibiting one of my historical fiction poems written at Beck's Grist Mill, an Indiana landmark in Washington County, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Some of my photography will also be displayed.

More info as it arrives, but add this stop to your calendar! The exhibit will only run for one month!

Grandma’s Hickory Chair

The breeze takes my breath
	as I rock myself in grandma’s hickory chair.
Sweet smell of black-eyed Susans,
	birds flit along powerlines on the county road.
Corn and sunflowers fill farmers fields, 
	surprise lilies blooming in a ditch.
Children fuss taking off school clothes,
	barefoot in puddles after a steady rain.

Soon harvest will end as the first winter frost halts the growing season.
Soon the fields will be bedding down under a warm coat of leaves,
     as I pull out the tattered quilt I made
     back when my hands were still able.

The snow will come to prepare for spring’s growth,
     when my grandchildren will rock
     in their grandma’s hickory chair.

Late Night Poetry

Writing sometimes hits me at odd times. I’m a night owl, so that doesn’t help my getting to sleep, or help with slowing my mind once I’ve decided it’s time to sleep. A couple of nights ago, that happened just after I turned out the lights. A thought, an itch, and I had to turn the lights back on and write this poem that is now a song of deliverance for my soul.

Flower Rising
She fought the tears,
drowned the pain under fires
as the bridges crumbled.

Freedom, she whispered.

Outgrown a lost soul,
held back, knocked down,
dark truths of flesh hidden.

Freedom, she cried.

Chains of passion broken,
mourning cruel love,
infinity does have an end.

Freedom, she implored.

A first flower rising through snow
as January marks the journey,
loving her own creation.

Freedom, she shouted.

Sound rises above,
as spirit is set free to fly,
her voice without quiver.

Freedom, she whispers.